“Trees for life” is becoming very popular slogan in an international context. Trees have been the way of life since time immemorial for livelihood security and reducing vulnerability to climate-related risks. The utilization of trees and their products (viz. 6F’s food, fruit, fiber, fertilizers, fodder and fuelwood) for the sustenance are intricately woven with indigenous, traditional, and farmers knowledge. In this context, one such important tree species of semi-arid tract of India is widely utilized for a number uses due to their multivarious benefits i.e. Phoenix sylvestris date palm tree. This tree is widely growing near water bodies, road side, canal side, wastelands, farmland, households and railway track in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar and Deccan plateau of India. Traditionally date palm juice for jaggery and toddy; leaves for brooms, mattresses, thatching material, baskets, ropes, tiffins, marriage crowns, fodder; fruits for edible purpose; stem for beams or construction material and trees for ornamental etc. are used in rural areas. The every part of the tree is useful and providing livelihood supports to tree dependent communities. This plant has been instrumental for landless traditional craftsmen in providing a substantial livelihood through their own indigenous wisdom in every stage of the palm’s maintenance from collection to the processing of products. The agroforestry survey, exploration visits and interviews have provided very beneficial information about utilization and conservation status. In this paper, different case studies have been discussed to understand the utilization pattern and livelihood dependency of this neglected species. Also the unscientific harvesting of date palm is hampering the growth and reproduction. Therefore, the “Kalpavriksha of Semi-arid region” needs to be domesticated in farmland by developing suitable agroforestry models, so the livelihood of people and conservation of the species should be undertaken.
Neeraj, Vinita Bisht, Kaushal Singh and Neetu. Date palm: Miracle tree for semi-arid region of India. J Pharmacogn Phytochem 2020;9(1):1310-1317.