Temporal Systems and Woodlots
Land-holders sometimes devote land solely to tree plantations. There are two basic purposes for solid stands of trees. First, is for the tree products such as fuel and timber (taungya systems and woodlots). The second is to improve soil conditions (improved fallow and land rehabilitation).
Taungya. When trees plantations are being established, crops may be intercropped with the young seedlings for at least one cropping season, and often for several (until competition for light makes it no longer productive to continue). Trees are then left as pure stands with no additional uses of the land until after harvest. This agroforestry practice is called the Taungya system.
The taungya system is widely used by national forest departments in the tropics as an efficient method for plantation establishment. A typical practice is to allow local farmers to plant crops in newly planted government plantations. The farmer then gets to keep all crop products. The seedlings benefit from the agronomic practices given the crops: tillage, weeding, fertilizer, etc., leading to improved survival and early growth, and thus overall better plantation establishment.
The concept applies to other types of tree planting systems, such as woodlots, improved fallow and land rehabilitation.
In taungya, tree spacing is defined by the species, environment and the purpose of the tree planting, and is relevant to the taungya concept only in determining how long intercropping might continue. Tree species choice is also independent of the taungya practice, though NFTs would probably be better companion trees than non-NFTs.