Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2024

Document Type

Thesis (Undergraduate)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Richard Howarth

Second Advisor

Michael Cox


Agroforestry is a crucial strategy for diversifying farmer livelihoods and achieving India's climate goals, but its adoption has been hindered by institutional and fiscal obstacles. This mixed-methods study investigates the impact of national government schemes on tree cover increase and expert perceptions of incentives and barriers to agroforestry adoption. Our analysis of national schemes from 2013-2017 reveals that effective fiscal mechanisms and policy cohesion are critical drivers of agroforestry growth. Specifically, we find that increased funding for the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is associated with significant increases in tree cover area while funding for the Horticultural Scheme (NHM) is associated with decreases in tree cover. Expert interviews highlight key barriers, including the lack of a private market for wood products, a complex ecosystem of agroforestry incentives, and inaccessibility. Based on our findings, we recommend seven policy measures to promote agroforestry and increase tree cover, including streamlining incentives, enhancing policy cohesion, and promoting private market development. These recommendations can inform strategies to overcome the institutional and fiscal barriers hindering agroforestry adoption in India.