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Newsletter N°27, January 2018


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2.1 XI National Congress of the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology

2.2 Permaculture Based on an Agrosilvopasture System in Albaltzisketa (Gipúzcoa, Spain)

2.3 Activities of the Agroforestry Federation for Wallonia and Bussels (AWAF)

3. FEATURED FARM: Hånsta Östergärde farm, Stockholm, Sweden









Starting the year of our IV EURAF Conference, EURAF is delighted to invite you to share all your extraordinary agroforestry activities all over Europe. Deadline for abstract submission has been 15 February, but you can also enjoy the meeting by learning and sharing knowledge of the participating experts. More info about the conference can be found in the  miscellaneous  section of this newsletter.

EURAF activities last December and January were indeed relevant to foster agroforestry in Europe. The Civil Dialog Groups (CDG) on Forestry and Cork and Rural Development were attended by Eloi Villada and María Rosa Mosquera-Losada. The Forestry and Cork meeting was especially relevant as it was a joint meeting of the CDG on Forestry and Cork and of the Standing Forestry Committee on 5th December 2017 in Brussels. A good discussion on the Forestry Strategy was carried out. EURAF noted that the inclusion of foresters and farmers are crucial and that there is a lack of good data on non-wood forest products.

María Rosa Mosquera-Losada was named chair of the “Enabling Environment Working Group” of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA, FAO) in Rome.

The AGFORWARD project ended with an excellent and extraordinary work carried out by all partners led by Paul Burgess. A set of “innovation” and “best practice” leaflets were produced, that we hope all of you enjoy.

Please note that the EURAF email address and the domain of EURAF website have been modified. Please, contact us through info [at] eurafagroforestry [dot] eu (info [at] eurafagroforestry [dot] eu) and follow us in

See you in the IV European Agroforestry Conference in Nijmejen!


Source: María Rosa Mosquera Losada (EURAF President), January 2018.





2.1 National Congress of the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology


A scientific session focused on agroforestry was organized at the XI National Congress of the Italian Society of Silviculture and Forest Ecology (SISEF). The conference was held in Rome at the headquarters of the National Research Council (CNR, Italy), Rome in October 2017. During the conference, Prof. Shibu Jose from the University of Missouri (USA), talked about agroforestry in North America as invited speaker during a plenary session of the congress.

The agroforestry parallel session was chaired by Pierluigi Paris (CNR-IBAF) and included presentations focused on: stakeholders’ knowledge about agroforestry (Francesca Camilli, CNR-IBIMET); EU support to agroforestry systems within the Common Agricultural Policy (Andrea Pisanelli, CNR-IBAF); the mechanisms of shade adaptation of Tripsacum dactyloides, an herbaceous bioenergy crop of North America (Adolfo Rosati, CREA); GIS study on the effect of the agroforestry systems on the reduction of soil water erosion in Tuscany (Alberto Mantino, Sant'Anna University); analysis on the application of PEFC certification on agroforestry systems (Antonio Brunori, PEFC Italy).

From the aforementioned presentations, it is possible to draw the following main conclusions: i) There is generally a positive interest of the Italian stakeholders towards agroforestry, above all for its environmental benefits; ii) GIS simulations show significant effects on soil erosion reduction of agroforestry systems in hilly areas of Tuscany, a region of central Italy with high fragility to soil erosion for steep soil morphology and high intensity precipitation; iii) CAP measures are not yet sufficiently developed to promote agroforestry in Italy, to the same extent to agricultural and plantation monocultures; iv) Strong stakeholders’ perplexities remain on the production and management issues of agroforestry; v) Research has begun for the selection of herbaceous crops / cultivars for adaptation to low light regimes, due to the shading effects of trees on associated crops; vi) The certification of food and wood products in agroforestry is a fundamental strategy for enhancing the economic value of AF systems in Italy.



Figure 1: Picture taken during the XI national congress of the Italian society of silviculture and forest ecology.


Source: Andrea Pisanelli (EURAF National Delegate for Italy) and Pierluigi Paris (CNR-IBAF, Italy), January 2018.


2.2 Permaculture Based on an Agrosilvopasture System in Albaltzisketa (Guipúzcoa, Spain)


Do alternative models of agri-food production to the current one exist, which may be economically viable, ecologically sustainable and socially desirable? 

The proposed design is based upon a very diversified agrosilvopastoral system, which updates the “baserri” traditional concept which has generated a large part of our environment, sculpting our landscapes, incorporating techniques and adequate management according to sustainable science of 21st century, based on the agroecology and the permaculture. This way it allows us a better integration of the different managements that results in an increasing improvement of the whole ecosystem. Thus, a way out from the degrading spiral of available resources is reached by means of conventional intensive agricultural systems and the conventional ranchers, to a positive spiral resource-use-regeneration, which leads to the projects designed from methodological framework that provides the permaculture. It deals with the management of local resources in such a way as not to compromise their availability for future generations at the same time regenerating the existing ones and allowing a harmonious development towards the natural and social environment. A production and development model based on the healthy and functional ecosystems, which are the substrate on which a healthy and sustainable economy is based upon. The core ideas on which this project is based are:

  • Hydrological design. During the project design phase, we begin with the hydrological design of the project in such a way to allow the control of the surface runoff water. The farm is located on elevated steep slopes in a zone with high annual precipitation of 1.400 mm, achieving this way the following: i) To reduce the speed of water displacement and avoid erosion, ii) To retain it for other uses when needed, iii) To establish paths and transit areas, iv) To determine different zones for livestock, horticulture, and forestry use.
  • Horticultural production in permanent terraces. For the horticultural production, a series of terraces have been established, where permanent terraces can be located which will not turn upside down following the key line pattern. In this way, comfortable zones for work are available and which retain the quantity of water needed, while the excess is redirected for its drainage.
  • Edible forest garden: the perennial orchard. In the higher zones and the land slopes, an edible forest is established, in which trees, bushes, herbaceous, vines and fungi can coexist in symbiosis with all, all being potential food sources.
  • Healthy soils, fertile soils. In relation to the fertilization of the soils, it works on the objective of strengthening the own land dynamics, promoting the activation of the biological processes of decomposition of the organic materials into humus. To achieve this, a periodical capture and reproduction of forest microbiology, existent in the redoubts of forest in the autochthonous zones, which serves as the basis for the preparation of different fermentation products that we use as biofertilizers.
  • Rotational shepherding: regenerative cattle raising. Following and imitating the behavior of the herbivores in nature, allow a controlled management of the pasture which results in its recuperation, the regeneration of the soil and the introduction of a diversified cattle cabin, which in addition to production, carries out the  maintenance labour of each and every proposed agrosystems.   



Figure 2: On top, hydrological design and water catchment channels in the plots and in the bottom horticultural production in permanent terraces.


More information here


Source: David González (Sustraiak Habitat Design, Vitoria – Gasteiz, Spain), December 2017


2.3 Activities of the Agroforestry Federation for Wallonia and Brussels (AWAF)


A new development project began in January 2018, AForClim. This new project is financed by the Wallonia Agricultural Administration and allowed the non-profit association AWAF to hire a new project manager: Sidonie Artru. The objectives of AForClim are to document the microclimatic effects of agroforestry in a digital brochure for farmers and decision-makers, to set up a pilot plot to test the comportment of species more tolerant of summer droughts. More information: sidonie [dot] artru [at] awaf [dot] be (sidonie [dot] artru [at] awaf [dot] be)

On Monday 22 January 2018, AWAF was invited to present agroforestry techniques to the NAT Commission of European Committee of the Regions. A half-hour presentation followed by a constructive debate with the members of the Commission who, for the most part, were unaware of what agroforestry was. Discussions will continue in collaboration with EURAF (info [at] awaf [dot] be (info [at] awaf [dot] be)).


Source: Olivier Baudry (EURAF National Sub-Delegate for Belgium), January 2018.


 3. FEATURED FARM: Hånsta Östergärde farm, Stockholm, Sweden



The Hånsta Östergärde farm is located 100 km north of Stockholm, Sweden. The farm is run by the farmers Ylwa and Kjell Sjelin. It is a diversified organic farm with 160 ha of arable land focusing on organic grain production, a small grazing area, 57 ha of forest and some agroforestry. In particular, alley cropping is one of the farming methods they are testing on the farm. They claim that is easy for a mechanized grain farmer to seed and harvest the alley cropping, which is a one ha test area with rows of food-producing trees and shrubs. The 12 m area in-between they farm organic crop rotation with grain and cultivated grass and clover ley. They also have an exhibition plot area with 150 perennial food producing trees, shrubs and herbs.

The animals are kept outdoors through the whole year. Cattle, pigs and sheep are in movable shelters (with the help of a tractor) having access to open sheds with straw bedding. Straw is added daily, when the height reaches 40-50 cm the shed is moved and new bedding is started. Hens are kept in movable houses, which during all seasons except wintertime are moved every week over the leys giving them access to fresh grazing. Animals, silage and straw are kept in the feed producing fields and the manure is easily spread there and quickly mulched down before spring seeding. Through these activities, input costs and associated CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions are saved related to produce feedstuffs for the animals as well as transportation of feedstuffs and manure.



 Figure 3: Movable houses for the livestock.


The pigs are fenced in a new forest area every year during the vegetation period, and pigs immediately start to root in the soil, thus they provide most of the soil preparation needed for the regeneration of the forest, especially on the rocky ground. No trees appeared in the underground where the pigs haven’t rooted but many appeared where they have been. A roof shelter has been established in the forest for the pigs to rest protected.


 Figure 4: On the left, pigs ranging freely in the forest, in the middle, shelter for the pigs and on the right regeneration of trees after pigs rooting on the soil.


They aim to be a sustainable and resilient farm, and thus they always aim at improving their farming methods so they participate in producing all what the future global population needs and at the same time repairing the life supporting systems: stable climate, clean soils, clean water etc.


The Swedish University of Agriculture has a test with perennial grain on their farm.



Figure 5: Spring rye harvest in 2015 and ley harvest in 2017.


Contact: Ylwa and Kjell Sjelin, farm owners (vatth [dot] ecofarm [at] telia [dot] com (vatth [dot] ecofarm [at] telia [dot] com)).


Source: Mercedes Rois-Díaz (European Forest Institute, Finland), January 2018.





Over eighty people from across Europe attended a successful agroforestry meeting at the European Parliament on 29th November 2017. The meeting entitled “1 + 1 = 3” was hosted by MEP Paul Brannen and comprised presentations of the results of the AGFORWARD project and a discussion panel.

The presentation of the results of the AGFORWARD project started with the presentation of Paul Burguess, co-ordinator of the AGFORWARD project. Paul Burguess (Cranfield University) explained how agroforestry is boosting the revenue and resilience of Europe’s farmers. Other presentations were “Agroforestry: debating the future (and present!) of our farming” carried out by Fabien Balaguer (French Agroforestry Association) and “How can policy support the uptake of agroforestry in Europe?” by María Rosa Mosquera-Losada (University of Santiago de Compostela).


The discussion panel examined ways to mainstream agroforestry in Europe. The panel comprised Olivier De Schutter (Co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems), Valentin Opfermann (Policy Advisor on Agricultural and Environmental Research and Environmental Issues at COPA-COGECA), Patrick Worms (Senior Science Policy Adviser at the World Agroforestry Centre) and Frédéric Morand (Farmer and founder of Vert d’Iris International). 

The meeting concluded with a reception in which all those present continued to discuss the best ways to boost the agroforestry throughout Europe.

More information about the meeting is available on the  AGFORWARD website. 


Figure 6: The panel and speakers at the agroforestry meeting in the European Parliament were Frédéric Morand, Valentin Opfermann, Olivier De Schutter, María Rosa Mosquera-Losada, Paul Burgess, Fabien Balaguer, Patrick Worms, and the host was Paul Brannen MEP.


Source: Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez (EURAF National Delegate for Spain), December 2017.






The meeting allowed partners to discuss about progress of the different tasks of the project. The Innovation Brokers presented the results of the first RAIN (Regional Agroforestry Innovation Network) meetings and organised the second RAIN meetings, which are taking place at the beginning of 2018.

The AFINET partner meeting also included field visits to agroforestry farms managed by members of the Portuguese RAIN. The project partners visited the Herdade Sanguinheira de Codes and the Herdade Machuqueira do Grou located in Chamusca and Coruche regions, respectively. These farms are dedicated to silvopastoral activites, combining the animal grazing (sheep or cows) with pastures and trees (Quercus suber L., Pinus pinea L., Eucalyptus globulus) on the same land.

During the meeting, Florian Matterne, a Belgian student, presented his project. Florian is traveling around Europe visiting farmers, researchers and advisors involved in agroforestry to gather information on the different agroforestry practices carried out in Europe.

The next AFINET partner meeting will take place in Poland in May 2018.


Figure 7: Some pictures taken during the AFINET partner meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.


Source: Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez (EURAF National Delegate for Spain), December 2017.





Assistant/Full Professor in Forest Resources and Agroforestry Systems

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) invites applications for the position of Assistant/Full Professor in Forest Resources and Agroforestry Systems to begin in winter semester 2018/19. The duties of TUM professors include research, teaching and the promotion of early-career scientists. Please send your application no later than 28 February 2018 to the Dean of School of Life Science Weihenstephan, Prof. Thomas Becker, Email: dekanat [at] wzw [dot] tum [dot] de



2nd European Symposium on Pollarding


This 3-day event, open to all agricultural practitioners and stakeholders, natural resource managers and researchers, will take place in Basque Country, France, during 1st – 3rd March 2018. The symposium objectives are to establish a better understanding of the potential benefits of pollarding and to identify ways of extending its practice through exchange and dialogue. More info about the event here.


4th European Agroforestry Conference

The 4th European Agroforestry Conference “Agroforestry as Sustainable Land Use” will take place in Nijmegen, The Netherlands during 28th - 30th May 2018. The conference will focus on how to get the agroforestry goals and how to realise the transition to an agricultural sector, that uses the economic and environmental benefits that agroforestry offers. Farmers are more than welcome to the conference to exchange their experiences and know-how, also regarding the barriers in their transition to agroforestry. The conference will include different parallel sessions: i) Factors of success and failure in the transition into agroforestry, ii) Costs and revenues of agroforestry on the scale of the individual farm, a region and a state; proven practice and theoretical models, iii) What do farmers and agricultural organisations think of EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2014-2020 and how to influence the next phase of CAP?, iv) Agroforestry as a form of sustainable land use to fight against climate change, v) Testimonies of farmers from across Europe, vi) Environmental benefits of agroforestry, vii) Biodiversity and added value, viii) Tree fodder: food for thoughts?, ix) Innovations in agroforestry, x) Social and economic aspects in developing agroforestry, xi) Tree-Crop-Animal competition and facilitation, xii) Agroforestry and multiple products value chain, xii) Agroforestry policies, xiv) Open Category.

Different field tours will also take place during the conference: (i) Agroforestry and food forest in Belgium, ii) Agroforestry in and around Amsterdam, iii) Food forests in the urban environment of Nijmegen, iv) Sustainable land use and social functions, v) Successfully Innovating food production while coping with bureaucracy, vi) Transforming conventional dairy farms into agroforestry farm. More info here.


Agroforestry Workshop International, Germany

This Agroforestry Workshop International will take place in Nürtingen, Germany during 11th - 15th June 2018. The workshop includes five days lectures in agroforestry concerns, practical work/ excursions and artwork and personal encounter. More info coming soon.


20th Nitrogen Workshop

The 20th Nitrogen Workshop will take place in Rennes, France during 25th -27th June 2018. Contributions that consider interactions between the N cycle and C, P and S cycles, bringing challenging scientific and environmental issues will be welcomed. More info here.


27th European Grassland Federation (EGF) General Meeting

The 27th European Grassland Federation (EGF) General Meeting will take place in Cork, Ireland, during 17th – 21st June 2018. The title of the meeting is “Sustainable Meat and Milk Porduction from Grasslands”. More info here.


13th European IFSA (International Farming Systems Association) Symposium

The 13th European IFSA Symposium will take place in the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete, Greece during 1st – 5th July 2018. The overall theme of the symposium is "Farming systems facing uncertainties and enhancing opportunities". More info here.


XV European Society for Agronomy Congress (ESA) 

The XV European Society for Agronomy Congress (ESA) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland during 27th – 31th August 2018. Innovative cropping and farming systems for high quality food production systems will be presented and discussed at this congress. More info here. 


This is your newsletter! If there’s anything you think should be included, please send suggestions to info [at] eurafagroforestry [dot] eu (info [at] eurafagroforestry [dot] eu) for the next issue.

This newsletter is carried out in collaboration with the European AGFORWARD and AFINET Projects.

Editors-In-Chief: Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez and María Rosa Mosquera-Losada

Editorial Committee: María Rosa Mosquera-Losada, Gerry Lawson, Joana Amaral Paulo, Anastasia Pantera, Fabien Balaguer, Jeroen Watté, Bert Reubens, Olivier Baudry, Emil Popov, Vania Georgieva Kachova, Bohdan Lojka, Alain Canet, Yousri Hannachi; Norbert Lamersdorf, Heinrich Spiecker, Konstantinos Mantzanas, Andrea Vityi, Andrea Pisanelli, Adolfo Rosati, Robert Borek, João Palma, Josep Crous-Duran, Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez, Manuel Bertomeu, Johanna Björklund, Felix Herzog, Mareike Jäger, Mark Vonk, Piet Rombouts, Jo Smith, Mike Strachan, Vasyl Y. Yukhnovskyi, Ganna O. Lobchenko, Mercedes Rois-Díaz.

English Reviewer: Mercedes Rois-Díaz 

This Newsletter is edited in Lugo (Spain) by EURAF (ISSN 2445-2556)



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