The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has begun trials on two broad-leaved plant species called Salix and Robinia, which have been imported from Hungary in a bid to promote agro-forestry.

“It is highly valuable plant for timber and sports industries and soil and water conservation,” said PARC Chairman Dr Muhammad Azeem on Friday. “The introduction and adaptation trials of these plants were initiated for the first time in Pakistan.”

He detailed that the council is making efforts to introduce new interventions in agro-forestry.

Modern and innovative practices in agro-forestry such as use of trees in farming can develop both agriculture and forestry sectors, he stressed.

He was of the view that agro-forestry was a sustainable management system for land having the capacity to increase overall production and combine agricultural crops, tree crops and forest plants.

“Keeping in view the utmost importance of trees for the environment and economy of the country, PARC has also established Rangeland Research Institute at National Agricultural Research Centre,” he pointed out.

Rangeland Research Institute (RRI) aims to conduct research studies on various agro-forestry systems involving multi-purpose tree species suited to various ecological zones, he detailed.

He said that the challenges present in agro-forestry can be countered through sufficient financial resource allocation, latest research facilities and advanced practices.

“A great potential lies in agro-forestry for social, economic and environmental benefits and bring sufficient land under tree production,” he said.

Originally published at : Tribune