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Agroforestry System

Project Environmental Sustainability

By planting rubber trees, the goals of the project could be met with maximum impact. Rubber based agro-forestry involves a complex and diversified cropping system that combines the growing of rubber and other agricultural crops in the area in a sustainable manner. A desirable rubber based cropping system will give economic yield while protecting the environment, conserving soil, water and nutrients. Perennial tree crops as in the case of forest trees are known to function as natural sponges for absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration is observed, through the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its conversion into cellulose and organic matter.

The rubber tree HeveaBraziliensis introduced for plantation agriculture from the wilderness of the Amazon jungles behaves as a typical rainforest tree that would efficiently function in carbon-sequestration. We have carefully selected the highest yielding rubber trees, with a mix of various clones to secure the most sustainable plantation practices. The technology that we use is environmentally friendly based on renewable energy systems that we will generate at the rubber plantation from solar, biomass or micro-hydro sources. Our rubber processing units are designed to run on clean and efficient machines with zero carbon output.

Project Economical Sustainability

The economic benefit which will contribute to poverty reduction will be achieved instantly, both by the planting of rubber trees and pineapple crops, as well as other species for multi-cropping to be identified according to local environmental standards. Additional knowledge will be shared with local tribal communities in training on the clearing of lands, the making of compost and the production of micro organisms for fertilizers, and on techniques to maintain forests and plantations with the highest levels of return. In addition, income from the sale of pineapple and other crops will be shared with Umlamphlang Multi Purpose Cooperative Society as part of share-cropping, lease agreements, incentives to workers or other methods selected by local partners.

Project Social Sustainability

The project will use the Sustainable Livelihood approach which recognises the importance of institutional structures and processes which determine access to assets and their value and to the attractiveness of different livelihood strategies. The project will address the resulting livelihood adaptations, impacts on forest resources and protection measures in buffer zone communities in Meghalaya. While implementing the project the overall aim will be achieved by analysing the existing institutional arrangements that govern access to environmental resources for different groupings of rural people living in the three target villages in the project area.