More than 50 lakh trees disappeared in India between 2018 and 2022, research made a big revelation

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
2 Min Read

New Delhi: More than 5 million trees will disappear from large agricultural lands in India between 2018 and 2022, partly due to changed agricultural practices, which is worrying. This has come to light in new research published in the journal 'Nature Sustainability'. The researchers said a notable trend is emerging in which agroforestry systems are being converted to paddy fields, even though a certain loss rate may naturally occur.

Big trees were removed

He said that within these agroforestry areas, large trees have been removed and trees with low ecological value are now being planted in individual block plantations. Block plantations usually include fewer species of trees. Its numbers were found to be increasing and this was confirmed by interviews with some villagers in Telangana, Haryana, Maharashtra and other states. The team, including researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, said decisions to remove trees are often driven by the perceived low benefits of trees. This is also linked to concerns that shade from trees like neem could adversely affect crop yields.

More than 50 lakh trees disappeared

The researchers said agroforestry trees are an important part of India's landscape as they generate socio-ecological benefits due to their ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air while being a natural climate solution. The study mapped and monitored trees from about 60 crore agricultural lands over the last decade, excluding block plantations. They found that about 11 percent of large farm trees disappeared by 2018. Additionally, more than 5 million large farm trees could disappear during the 2018-2022 period, partly due to changed farming practices, the researchers said. Because trees inside the fields are considered harmful for crop production.

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