Start date: Jan 1, 2014,
End date: Dec 31, 2017
Agroforestry is the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions. AGFORWARD (AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development) is a four-year project, developed by 23 organisations at the forefront of agroforestry research, practice and promotion in Europe, with the goal of promoting appropriate agroforestry practices that advance sustainable rural development. The project will i) increase our understanding of existing, and new extensive and intensive agroforestry systems in Europe; ii) identify, develop and demonstrate innovations to improve the ecosystem service benefits and viability of agroforestry systems in Europe using participatory research, iii) develop better adapted designs and practices for the different soil and climatic conditions of Europe, and iv) promote the wide adoption of sustainable agroforestry systems.Successful and sustainable agroforestry practices are best developed by farmers and land owners working in partnership with researchers, extension staff, and other rural businesses. AGFORWARD will facilitate 33 participative agroforestry research and development stakeholder groups to improve the resilience of i) existing agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value such as the dehesa and montado; and ii) olive, traditional orchard, and other high value tree systems, and the sustainability of iii) arable and iv) livestock systems with the integration of trees. Using existing bio-economic models, AGFORWARD will evaluate and adapt the innovations to improve the delivery of positive ecosystem services and business profitability at farm- and landscape-scales across Europe. By using and developing existing European fora, such as the European Agroforestry Federation, AGFORWARD will implement an informative and effective promotion programme to benefit the European economy, environment and society.
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