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. Research activities developed by AFINET partners indicate that appropriate application of agroforestry principles and practices is a key avenue to help the European Union to achieve more sustainable methods of food and fibre production, producing both profits for farmers and environmental benefits. However, up to now, not all agroforestry knowledge reaches the end-user which often prevents the correct implementation of these practices.
In this sense, AFINET will act at the EU level in order to take up research results into agricultural practice, improving knowledge exchange between scientists and practitioners, with a special focus on silvoarable and silvopastoral agroforestry systems design, their management, production and profitability. To achieve this objective, the AFINET consortium proposes an innovative methodology based on: (i) the creation of an EU reservoir of scientific and practical knowledge of agroforestry with an end-user friendly access, the so called “Knowledge Cloud”; and, (ii) the creation of a European Interregional network composed of “Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks” (RAINs), including farmers, policy makers, advisory services and extension services. These RAIN groups are set up in nine European regions in Spain, UK, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Poland, France and Finland, representing different climatic, geographical, social, and cultural conditions in Europe.
EFI has set up the Finnish RAIN in eastern Finland. This Finnish farmer network will concentrate on improved management of wood pastures, free-range chicken and explore the possibilities of a pasture-beef label. In addition, EFI will help in creating the Knowledge Cloud and contribute to it with scientific and practical knowledge.
More information on the AFINET website: http://www.agroforestry.eu/afinet (last accessed 13.1.2020)
USC, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (coordinator), Spain
ORC, Organic Research Centre, UK
EV ILVO, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Belgium
ISA, Instituto Superior de Agronomía, Portugal
IUNG-PIB, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland
INAGRO, Inagro, Belgium
NyME-KKK, University of West Hungary Cooperational Research Centre, Nonprofit Ltd (NYUGAT), Hungary
ABACUS, ABACUS Agriculture Ltd, UK
IBAF-CNR, Istituto di Biologia Agro-ambientale e Forestale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy
EURAF, European Agroforestry Federation, International
AFAF, Association Française d’Agroforesterie, France
FEUGA, Fundación Empresa-Universidad Gallega Spain, Spain
EFI, European Forest Institute, International
This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727872