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AGFORWARD News: March 2017
Agroforestry for Europe
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In this Newsletter:

Introduction

World Agroforestry Congress coming to Europe

Extent of agroforestry

First innovation leaflet

Agroforestry Focus Group in Italy

Agroforestry in Italy

Agroforestry at Organic Producers Conference

UK Agroforestry Conference 22 June 2017

Policy guidance

Introducing the AFINET project

Agroforestry on Twitter

Contact Details

Subscription Details


Introduction

The AGFORWARD project, sponsored by the European Commission, is entering its fourth and final year. The project has achieved much but the process of improving our understanding of agroforestry and its promotion in Europe is a long-term process. Hence it is great to hear that the World Agroforestry Congress is coming to Europe in 2019.

The first objective of the AGFORWARD project is to understand the context and extent of agroforestry in Europe. Hence I am pleased that we have published a peer-reviewed paper in "Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment" that addresses this issue. Our second and third objectives are to identify, develop and field-test innovations and to evaluate innovative agroforestry designs and practices. Therefore during 2017 a key activity will be the release of "innovation leaflets". We have recently uploaded our first two-page innovation leaflet on the AGFORWARD web-site. We hope that the format is interesting and helpful.

The fourth objective is to promote the wider adoption of appropriate agroforestry. Hence various members of the project participated in the second EIP-Agri European Focus Group on Agroforestry which recently met in Italy. At the same time, I also took the opportunity to visit the agroforestry research being led by Veneto Agricoltura. Another way of promoting agroforestry is through activities such as the Organic Producers' Conference in February 2017 and the UK Agroforestry Conference and Farm Woodland Forum Meeting planned for 22-23 June 2017 at Cranfield University, and some of the work of AGFORWARD will continue through the new AFINET project. During the next few months, we will also be producing a report to provide guidance on agroforestry policy; if you have specific examples of good practice we welcome your input.

I hope that you find the newsletter useful. Please keep in contact with European agroforestry activities through our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

With best wishes,

Paul Burgess
AGFORWARD Co-ordinator


World Agroforestry Congress coming to Europe

In the past month, Christian Dupraz of INRA has received the news that Montpellier has been chosen as the location of the World Agroforestry Congress in 2019. This is a very large event and a significant boost for the profile and practice of agroforestry in Europe. Well done to all involved in the bid.


Extent of agroforestry

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A peer-reviewed paper in "Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment" uses the LUCAS land use and land cover database to calculate that the area of agroforestry in the European Union is 15.4 million hectares. The paper also separately describes the area of "livestock agroforestry", "arable agroforestry" and "high value tree agroforestry" for each country in the EU.


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First innovation leaflet

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An objective of AGFORWARD is to produce guidelines for innovative agroforestry systems and practices. During the past few months, staff on the project have produced a template for a series of innovation leaflets. The first innovation leaflet on "Wild asparagus in olive trees" has just been produced and is available on-line. We are in the process of developing the material and refining the presentation for future leaflets. We welcome feedback on how future leaflets can be improved.


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Agroforestry Focus Group in Italy

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The second and final meeting of the EIP-Agri Focus Group on Agroforestry took place in Italy on 21-22 March. The Focus Group, led by Karin Eksvärde, is due to deliver a report later in 2017 which addresses two objectives: i) to develop innovative agroforestry practices to facilitate the integration of woody crops in specialised crop and livestock systems, and ii) to develop them into sustainable farming systems that can boost agricultural productivity and profitability. The group also visited Vallevecchia Farm to see the silvoarable systems being introduced and even "helped" with some tree planting.


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Agroforestry in Italy

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On 20 March 2017, Valerio Bondesan and Cristina dalla Valle of Veneto Agricoltura hosted a visit by the AGFORWARD co-ordinator Paul Burgess. The day included visits to the organic pig silvopastoral system at the Sasse-Rami Experimental Farm and the silvoarable system being established by Mauro Sangiovanni and Lorenza Padovan at Casaria Farm. The silvoarable agroforestry being practised at Casaria has similarities to the system at Vallevecchia.


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Agroforestry at Organic Producers Conference

Jo Smith of the Organic Research Centre chaired a session on silvoarable agroforestry at the 11th Organic Producers' Conference at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, on 2 February 2017. A presentation on the choices in implementing a silvoarable system was made by Stuart Holm from the Woodland Trust and Paul Burgess of Cranfield University explained the economics of silvoarable agroforestry. There is a video of the session if you want to relive the highlights!


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UK Agroforestry Conference 22 June 2017

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It is now about three months to the UK Agroforestry Conference which will take place at Cranfield University on Thursday 22 June 2017. The conference is focused on agroforestry in the UK. The organisers have assembled a very strong group of speakers from a range of sectors. The event is chaired by Charlotte Smith who presents Farming Today on BBC Radio 4. The conference is followed by the Farm Woodland Forum's Annual Meeting (on 23 June 2017) which includes a visit to the silvoarable system managed by Stephen Briggs. Details of the Farm Woodland Forum meeting and a link to the Agroforestry Conference can be found by clicking on READ MORE:


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Policy guidance

As reported in the last newsletter, the AGFORWARD project has produced a report detailing the range of agroforestry support provided through the Common Agricultural Policy. Rosa Mosquera-Losada and Jo Smith are current compiling guidelines on "How can policy support the appropriate development and uptake of agroforestry in Europe?" If you have examples of poor policy practice that can be improved or good policy practice that can be copied, please do contact Rosa or Jo.


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Introducing the AFINET project

AFINET is a new three-year European H2020 thematic network project (2017-2019) that seeks to create a EU reservoir of scientific and practical knowledge of agroforestry (a “knowledge cloud”) and a series of “Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks” in Spain, UK, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Poland, France and Finland. The project, led by Rosa Mosquera-Losada of the University of Santiago de Compostela, provides the opportunity to further promote some of the material on silvoarable and silvopastoral agroforestry practices produced in the AGFORWARD project.


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Agroforestry on Twitter

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I have been correctly rebuked for not promoting the AGFORWARD Twitter account in previous newsletters! The AGFORWARD Twitter account is actively updated and it is a very good source of new information relating to agroforestry in Europe. Do follow our Twitter account


READ MORE


Contact Details

Paul Burgess, AGFORWARD Project Co-ordinator,
Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK
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Kenisha Garnett, AGFORWARD Project Administrator,
Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK
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Rosa Mosquera-Losada, AGFORWARD representative from the European Agroforestry Federation,
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Fabien Liagre, Leader of the AGFORWARD dissemination work-package,
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The AGFORWARD project (Grant Agreement N° 613520) is co-funded by the European Commission, Directorate General for Research & Innovation, within the 7th Framework Programme of RTD, Theme 2 - Biotechnologies, Agriculture & Food. The views and opinions expressed in this report are purely those of the writers and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission.