1.5 Million Fruit Trees Planted Across India for Sustainable Livelihood

Meaghan Weeden | March 3, 2022 | 5 min read

Fruit Trees Change Lives: Reforestation Across India to reduce hunger in rural farming communities

Despite ongoing challenges like local lockdowns and restrictions on movement, our amazing on-ground partner planted a total of 1,533,930 fruit trees to restore 1,553 hectares of land in India last year. The plantings were distributed across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, India. We also built nurseries in strategic areas of Haryana to reduce transportation costs and improve seedling acclimatization.

As the trees grow, they'll help alleviate hunger and poverty while fighting pollution and climate change across rural India. To accomplish this, our partners planted a diverse mix of fruit tree species, including guava, key lime, pomegranate, custard apple, jackfruit and more. 

one tree planted fruit trees 2021 india

Fruit Trees Change Lives

When intercropped with seasonal vegetables, a grove of 100 fruit trees provides nutritional meals and sustainable income to a family of 4, helping to reduce migration into urban areas. Special emphasis was given to employing people from marginalized groups like widowed and elderly women.

In addition to providing social benefits, the trees planted will grow food and shelter for insects, bees, small animals, and birds. Biodiversity will also benefit from improved watershed health thanks to improved water absorption (and therefore, reduced runoff) during rain events. This will help keep area rivers clean by stabilizing soils, filtering stormwater, and more!

India 2021: the 6 states Where fruit trees were planted this year

uttar pradesh sustainable agroforestry farmer

1. Uttar Pradesh

1,020,438 guava, lemon, pomegranate, custard apple, papaya, jackfruit, teak and other trees were planted in Sonebhadra (the second-largest district of Uttar Pradesh) and Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh.

Sonebhadra, also called the Energy Capital of India, has several power plants and mines, as well as agriculture specializing in rice, wheat and several varieties of lentils. Impacted by shallow, rocky soils, a lack of irrigation infrastructure, industrial pollution and food insecurity, it's one of the most challenged districts in India. Our partner, Sustainable Green Initiative, intends to transform this land into a sustainable food forest over time, which will benefit the local tribal population with reliable employment, reducing the need for them to migrate to urban areas for work. To support this vision, we're helping to develop a nursery with a 10 million fruit tree/year capacity. 

Bundelkhand, home of several authors, poets, athletes, politicians and freedom fighters, also faces significant challenges. These include rocky and non-cultivable land, low industrialization, a 48% literacy rate, droughts, poverty and food insecurity. The trees planted here will improve the lives of local communities, providing them with nutritious food and reliable income. 

haryana india fruit tree reforestation


379,129 guava, lemon, jackfruit, mango, custard apple and other trees were planted in villages across Palwal and Mahendragarh, Haryana.We had originally planned to plant over 1 million fruit trees here, but due to COVID-related closures, we adjusted our plans and planted in 5 additional states.

Flanked by the Aravalli hills on one side and the Yamuna on the other, Palwal is impacted by forest cover loss, few employment opportunities, food insecurity and a low literacy rate. The majority of farmers here are considered marginal meaning that they have less than 1 hectare of land to support their families. 

Mahendragarh, which is home to the Dhosi hill, a tourist site that is said to be the seat of Chyawan Rishi's ashram (where the Ayurvedic health supplement Chyawanprash was formulated). Facing food insecurity, marginal farmers here will benefit from nutritious food and more reliable income over time. 

Due to Haryana's strategic location, we've established two nurseries here, which were designed and built to raise two million fruit tree saplings per year. This new nursery capacity will benefit planting projects in and around the Delhi NCR capital region of India, within Delhi, and throughout the adjoining states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

bhopal fruit tree seedling india sustainable agroforestry

3. Madhya Pradesh

65,000 papaya, guava, lemon custard apple and other fruit trees were planted in Dewas and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. 

Located on the Malwa plateau and spread over 7,020 square kilometers, this district is known as the soya capital of India. Dotted with windmills, this area was recognized in 2012 by the UN with 3rd place in the category of "Best water management practices" thanks to its motivated and innovative farmers. Despite its many achievements, the area faces challenges with tribal welfare and education. Planting early fruiting papaya trees here will create a source of much-needed nourishment for underprivileged and undernourished families. 

In Bhopal, Guava, Lemon, Custard Apple, Pomegranate and other trees were planted at the request of the Indian Army. As these trees grow, they'll increase the green cover of this area, and provide nutritious food.

maharashtra fruit tree seedling planting india reforestation

4. Maharashtra

40,000 guava, lemon, pomegranate, custard apple and other tree seedlings were planted in Roha and Mumbai, Maharashtra.  

Home to many chemical and pharmaceutical industries, the town of Roha is located in a designated Chemical Industry Zone. Historically home to biodiversity hotspots and tribal societies, this area has lost a reported 40% of its green cover and biodiversity in the past 3 decades. The region urgently needs trees to help improve water quality and increase groundwater levels, as well as addressing significant pollution from the chemical industry. 

The commercial and financial capital of India, Mumbai is home to 24.4 million people and has one of the highest population densities in the world. We planted a variety of fruit tree saplings on a campus near the Mumbai airport to help provide nutritious food and create an urban pocket of biodiversity habitat. 

raj mohan sustainable green initiative reforestation india


15,000 plum, pear and apricot saplings were planted in Ghansali, Uttarakhand. 

Challenged by a low literacy rate, few employment opportunities, and receding green cover, the marginal farming community in this beautiful, hilly area welcomed the opportunity to diversify their crops with sustainable agroforestry. As the trees grow, they'll help alleviate hunger, poverty and rural migration while fighting climate change. 

rajasthan reforestation india fruit trees

6. Rajasthan

14,363 lemon, guava, custard apple, pomegranate, and other trees were planted in Rajasthan villages near our Ateli nursery, with many more planned for future planting seasons.

As the trees grow, they'll benefit marginal farmers and their families with food and income, absorb pollution, fight climate change, slow and retain water flow, provide habitat for biodiversity, and more!

india sustainable agroforestry community reforestation

Ready to take action for Sustainable Agroforestry in India? here's how you can help

India suffered greatly from the pandemic during 2021. Local lockdowns and restrictions on movement changed the shape of this project throughout the year, but our amazing on-ground partners were able to adapt the fruit tree program to ensure the safety of their team and the local communities they operated in.

Providing access to healthy food and empowering farmers to develop sustainable livelihoods has never been more important. Sustainable agroforestry is a powerful tool for empowering communities and improving their lives. Want to join us? Plant a tree in India today!

Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted
Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted
Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted
Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted


Ranging from the Indian Ocean to the Himalayas, from the Bay of Bengal to the Indus River, India's forests reflect the subcontinent's great diversity of communities & ecosystems. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reduce hunger & malnutrition
  • Support at-risk coastal ecosystems
  • Assist marginalized communities by increasing income
  • India is a vast land full of contrasts. Moist and dry tropical forests, temperate and subtropical montane forests, alpine forests and mangrove forests are all found here. Recognized as one of the 17 “megadiverse” countries, around 8% of the world's flora and fauna is found in India, including species like Bengal Tigers. With nearly 3,000, India supports the largest population globally. Additionally, India's forests support the livelihoods of almost 275 million people. With sustainable agroforestry, countless communities can enjoy the environmental benefit of trees alongside the economic value of smallholder farming to make lasting and meaningful impact.
  • Our work in India is primarily focused on planting fruit trees. Our amazing partners are working with local communities across twelve Indian states to plant fruit trees to fight hunger, improve local economies, and combat climate change. Your support will help us make a huge difference. Each fruit tree we plant will equate to at least $10 USD in food and nutrition each year, with a cumulative value of 5 million dollars garnered over the next 50-60 years. While the socioeconomic benefits of this effort are undeniable, there are many ecological benefits too. India has some of the worst air quality in the world which is a massive drain on human health. Cue trees, which filter the air, trap pollutants, and provide thousands of pounds of breathable oxygen over their lifetimes.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you reports on our India project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • The species we are currently planting across India include fruit trees such as apricot, mango, banana, guava, jackfruit, lemon, moringa, lemon, papaya, pear, peach, pomegranate and many more. Moringa, papaya, and banana grow quickly and will provide food and fruit within 8-10 months of planting. Species like lemon, guava, apricot, pear, peach, and jujubes produce fruit within 3 years, but will ultimately provide a steady supply of food and income to small farmers in the long term.

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