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11 Dec 2019 | Income generation

Productive Trees – Fodder trees, Paulownia

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Multipurpose trees

Multipurpose trees play an important role in mountain farming. Products from a tree can include leaves, fruits, seed, and wood bark, as well as firewood and timber, both for direct use and to increase income and employment. These trees are useful in an agroforestry system in pumping nutrients from the deep soil which are then available for crops. The ICIMOD plot is being used to screen and test popular indigenous multipurpose tree species and study important aspects like natural regeneration, growth, timing and techniques of harvesting, and utilization and marketing of products that can be used to increase productivity.

Fodder trees

Fodder trees play an important role in animal husbandry in mountain areas. Tree fodder provides a major part of the diet of cows and buffalo, especially during the long dry season when grass is scarce, and is thus very important for milk production. The ICIMOD plot is being used to screen and test popular indigenous fodder tree species and study important aspects like growth, harvesting (lopping, and pruning techniques), regimes (intensity, timings), coppicing capabilities, and silvicultural treatments that can be used to increase productivity.


Paulownia is a medium tall large-leafed fast-growing deciduous tree from China. The trees are mainly grown for timber, but are also used for fodder, shade, crop protection, prevention of land degradation, as a fast-growing landscape tree, and for carbon sequestration. The trees withstand a wide range of temperatures but need reliable rainfall or irrigation in the growing season. Paulownia was planted at Godavari to determine whether it would grow in the Himalayan mid-hills and the optimum conditions. It has proven highly successful, with almost 20 m of growth in ten years from saplings and is recommended for growing for soft timber.

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