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South Asia Program Inception

As part of its global mandate, ICRAF established the South Asia Regional Program (SARP) in 2003, with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.

SARP covers Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It focuses on four agroecological environments: (1) the mountainous regions of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, northeast India and Nepal, (2) the Indo-Gangetic Plains of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan,(3) humid coastal areas of Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, and (4) semi-arid lands of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Disclaimer: Map depicted here is not drawn to the national political boundaries

 Agroforestry Systems in South Asia

South Asia is unique not only in its cultural diversity but also in the diversity of its agroforestry systems. The key South Asian agroforestry systems include parkland systems (with trees, usually of the same species, widely scattered over a large agricultural farm or pasture); agrisilviculture involving poplar and eucalyptus; plantation agriculture involving coffee, tea, cacao, and spices in association with a wide variety of trees; intercropping systems with coconut, para rubber and other trees; commercial crop production under the shade of trees in natural habitats; and homestead farming systems (integrated production of trees, food crops, horticultural crops and livestock around a farmer’s home).

Within these main systems, farmers also practice several other location-specific sub-systems, such as fish culture, apiculture, sericulture, and lac insect rearing. On the other hand, tribal communities in South Asia, guided by their indigenous knowledge, design their own systems using the various components of agroforestry in multiple combinations, compatible with the diverse environments where they live, and to meet their needs for food, shelter, and firewood.