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Newsletter N°20, November 2016

 

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1. EURAF ACTIVITIES

2. REGIONAL AGROFORESTRY NEWS

2.1 Agroforestry News of Ukraine 

2.2 Evolution of the Legal Framework in Wallonia, Belgium

3. FEATURED FARM: "Juchowo Farm", North-Western Poland

4. A NEW EUROPEAN AGROFORESTRY PROJECT STARTED 

5. EIP-AGRI WORKSHOP "NEW VALUE CHAINS FROM MULTIFUNCTIONAL FOREST"

6. MISCELLANEOUS

 


  

 1. EURAF ACTIVITIES

  


 

It is a pleasure for EURAF to invite all agroforestry stakeholders to the next EURAF conference that will take place in Nijmegen (The Netherlands), as one of the events during the Nijmegen European Green City in 2018. More information on the event will be released in due time.

Over the last two months EURAF kept working in the Civil Dialogue Groups (CDG) of the Parliament thanks to the participation of Darío Arias-Martínez, Belen Díaz-Hernández, Victor Gonzálvez, Gerry Lawson and María Rosa Mosquera-Losada (Rural Development, Arable Crops, Environment and Climate Change and Organic Farming). Main discussions of the CDG were centred in the presentation and the explanation of the steps after the Cork 2.0 Declaration as well as simplifications. Special reference to an excellent policy scheme on biodiversity promotion carried out in Andalucía (RAPCA), Spain, was made during the Rural Development CDG. While in the Arable Crops CDG were highlighted problems related to the global warming, which produced a clear reduction of the harvests carried out during this year that can be at least partially solved by the implementation of agroforestry practices. Agroforestry was promoted during the Environment and Climate Change CDG as a key tool to mitigate and adapt to climate change. EURAF was also promoting with the representatives Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez and María Rosa Mosquera-Losada the agroforestry practices in the Innovation Subgroup and the Executive Committee of the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), where aspects related with the big data, bioeconomy, ecosystem services and the Cork 2.0 Declaration were also considered. María Rosa Mosquera-Losada was invited to the Working Group of the Executive Committee of the ENRD for document preparation. EURAF was represented by Robert Borek in the “Macro-regional conference on European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020”, carried out in Poland and by Anastasia Pantera, Andrea Vityi, Mike Strachan and Michael den Herder in the EIP-AGRI workshop “New Value Chains from Multifunctional Forests”, developed in Austria. EURAF was also represented by Andrea Vityi in the 14th ERDN Conference organised within the framework of the European Rural Development Network under the title “Knowledge sharing and innovation in agriculture and rural areas”, in Budapest and in the “Regional Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in Europe and Central Asia organized by FAO and hosted by the Government of Hungary with the support of the Government of France. We are also excited by the participation of the several members of EURAF in the European Focus group of Agroforestry that will be held in Melle (France), which main results will be summarized in our next newsletter.

 

Source: María Rosa Mosquera Losada (EURAF President), November 2016.


 

2. REGIONAL AGROFORESTRY NEWS

 


  

2.1 Agroforestry News of Ukraine

 

The international conference “Actual problems of Ukrainian forestry” was held in the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev during 14th-15th April 2016.

The scientists of the Department of Forest Amelioration and Agroforestry represented two reports. Professor V. Yukhnovskyi and G. Lobchenko reported about “Windbreaks systems as an important part of organic farming in Ukraine”. The main idea of the report was the use of systems of windbreaks in the organic farming.

It is an effective way to increase the yield of crops using organic farming. The positive influence of the forest has been used since XIX century in the territory of Ukraine. Ukraine as a motherland of windbreaks afforestation has a lot of perspectives in combination of forests and agricultural fields in silvoarable agroforestry. Nowadays the total area of windbreaks is about 440,000 ha and windbreaks cover rate is about 1.4%, that is half of the optimal index. It is true, that current state of windbreaks systems reduces effectivity of protective functions. But a lot of national scientists such as P. Gerasymenko, O. Bodrov, O. Pylypenko, V. Yukhnovskiy, O. Polishchuk, O. Sytnyk, O. Sovakov, among others, have accumulated knowledge about positive influence of windbreaks for farming: ranging of effective influence, snow retention, moisture accumulation, reducing of evaporation and soil temperature, etc.

The optimal windbreaks cover for territory of Ukraine is about 3%, ranging from 1.5 to 11% in different climatic zones. The increase of yield due to use of windbreaks protection could be about 16% for cereals, 20% for sugar beet, 18% for sunflower, and 28% for corn. While losing 3% of arable area for the establishment of windbreaks, it is possible to get 10-20% extra yield. Remarkably, economic benefit from using windbreaks starts at 7-10 years, including the cost of establishment. In the condition of having about 440,000 ha of windbreaks nowadays, it is actually to form the optimal construction for them to get maximal ameliorative effect according of scientific results of several generations of scientists.

Thus, the use of agricultural land, protected by forest plantations properly, Ukrainian State may receive significant economic benefits from the production of environmentally-friendly products that are competitive on the world market under organic farming and sustainable use of nature respectively.

The great interest has led to the report by Dr. Robert Borek from Poland. He reported on the multiple use of forest belts in Poland and the ways of “Integrated food and non-food farming systems in the agricultural landscape”. During the conference, overviews of the studies on shelterbelts in Poland were shown by Robert Borek. He presented also integrated food and non-food production systems in the context of agricultural landscape.

Professor Yukhnoskyi also informed that Ukraine has established Ukrainian Agroforestry Association, becoming official in early June. So agroforesters from Ukraine are ready to join the big European family of agroforesters for cooperation, for the European agricultural landscapes improving their environmental and economic potential and benefit for the residents. 

        

Figure 1: On the photo (from left to right): Professor Oleksiy Pylypenko, Advisor to the Director of the Forest Institute; Doctor Robert Borek, IUNG, Poland; Ganna Lobchenko, Professor´s Assistant and Vasyl Yukhnovskyi, Head of Forest Amelioration and Agroforestry Department at National University of Live and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine.

 

Source: Vasyl Y. Yukhnovskyi (EURAF National Delegate for Ukraine) and Robert Borek (EURAF National Delegate for Poland), October 2016.


    

2.2 Evolution of the Legal Framework in Wallonia, Belgium

 

The last September 2016 a new Walloon Decree was published. This new Decree is an update of the 2008 Decree for the subsidies for hedges and trees plantation on farmlands.

Among the major innovations of the new Decree are: i) increasing individual amounts (e.g. 5€/m for double edge rows), ii) updating of the eligible species (Sorbus torminalis, Juglans x intermedia...), iii) the possibility of increasing the amounts if the project has a strong positive impact on eco-systemic services (e.g. erosion, ecological net), iv) the possibility of applying for subsidies for tenants of farmlands, or v) the subsidies for planting new linear coppices.

More information is available on the website of the AWAF (Association wallonne pour la promotion de l'agroforesterie).  

 

Source: Olivier Baudry (EURAF National Delegate for Belgium), October 2016.


 

 3. FEATURED FARM: "Juchowo Farm", North-Western Poland

  


 

“Juchowo Farm” is a large-scale farm in North-Western Poland near Szczecinek, established in 2000, operating on nearly 2,000 hectares of land. It is one of the best examples of a multifunctional farm in Poland and is a forerunner in the introduction of modern agroforestry practices in this part of Europe. “Juchowo Farm” is a biodynamic farm with a strongly diversified agricultural production. It consists of 1,450 ha of arable land, 340 ha of grasslands, 140 ha of forests and trees outside forests and 7.5 ha of vegetables garden (2016). The main source of income for the farm is the production and sale of biodynamic milk. Almost 700 head of cattle are kept here. Additionally, 77 other biodynamic products are sold directly at the farm, including different types of bread, cheese, herbs, fruit syrups and vegetables. The farm employs approximately 90 workers including 6 mentally disabled people. Another 30 people work regularly at a therapeutic base at “Juchowo Farm”. Owner is the Stanisław Karłowski Foundation, whose statutory goals are enhancement of soil fertility and renewal of social and economic life of rural areas in the context of social three folding. The foundation is managing a long-term rural project in Juchowo, combining different activities including agriculture, processing, education, pedagogic, social therapy and on-farm research.

The farm is located on poor sandy post-glacial soils. Inadequate management of the soils may lead to ineffective intensification of farming and adverse environmental impact. Hence, on the one hand, particular attention is given to soil improvement by using own compost, practicing multiannual crop rotation including legumes and other green manure crops. On the other hand, shaping landscape structure is an important element of farm management in order to prevent wind and water erosion and enhance water balance. Apart from creating mid-field water reservoirs, different agroforestry practices are implemented here. In recent years, 5 kilometres of hedges (78,000 square meter) and about 5,000 solitary trees have been planted on the farmland. Moreover, natural stands of mid-field trees are maintained, particularly the ones around marshy areas and water reservoirs. An additional advantage is greater biodiversity, especially where plants, insects, birds and reptiles are concerned. 

     

 Figure 2: Buffer system established around marshy areas and water reservoirs.

 

Tree species encompass both fruit trees and common forest deciduous trees. These are planted in belts and in copses on hilltops. We can find here alley cropping systems as single row belts, planted on grasslands as well as between fields. Tree species, properly selected for the habitat, include lime, birch, oak, beech, European hornbeam and horse chestnut. 

      

Figure 3: Trees planted on grasslands and between fields in the “Juchowo Farm”.

 

Multifunctional belts in the form of hedgerows acting as buffers against erosion and wind are usually planted between fields. They also protect natural habitats and apiaries sites, which are particularly susceptible to environmental influences. To create hedgerows both trees and bushes are planted. The bushes have edible fruits or nuts and are adapted to the conditions within the hedge.

    

Figure 4: Hedgerows planted between the fields and new hedgerows protecting natural site with apiary.

 

The foundation carries out research activities, supports ideas of organic farming as well as cultural and educational exchange.

If you are interested to learn more about “Juchowo Farm”, please contact directly info [at] juchowo [dot] org (info [at] juchowo [dot] org).

 

Source: Robert Borek (EURAF National Delegate for Poland), IUNG-PIB, Puławy, Poland, October 2016.


 

4. A NEW EUROPEAN AGROFORESTRY PROJECT STARTED

 


 

A new project focused on integrated food and non-food systems (IFNS) started in March 2016 and will run for three years until February 2019. The project is funded within the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI), and is titled “Innovative and sustainable intensification of integrated food and non-food systems to develop climate resilient agro-ecosystems in Europe” (acronym: SustainFARM). The partnership involves University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Organic Research Center, UK; Department of Geography, University of Marburg, Germany; University of Cordoba, Spain; University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Romania; National Research Council, Italy; Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland.

The main objective of SustainFARM is to enhance agronomic, environmental and economic performance of integrated food and non-food production systems (IFNS) by optimizing productivity and valorizing woody components, residual waste and co-products. IFNS are systems in which trees, crops and livestock components are integrated in different ways at different scales (plot-field-farm). The specific objectives are to a) assess resource use efficiency and design innovative and cost-effective IFNS for optimum productivity, b) develop sustainability metrics to assess agronomic productivity and environmental performance and c) valorization of the woody components, residual waste and co-products into high value bio-energy carriers and bio-products. To achieve the objectives, SustainFARM has adopted an innovative case-study approach, whereby locally relevant IFNS are already identified, to work in close collaboration with the local end-users of the technology such as farmers, advisory services and policy makers. By involving the end-users and other stakeholders from the start of the project activity, we will co-generate technology, relevant at the local scale to address productivity issues and enhance valorization of the unused, residual and co-products. SustainFARM will investigate the economic and environmental performance of the range of locally relevant IFNS across several agro-climatic zones of Europe and design innovative IFNS systems, which are resilient and climate-smart. To improve the cost-effectiveness, different means of valorizing the residual and co-products (woody components and residual wet olive cake etc.) and for multiple uses (bedding material, compost, bioenergy etc.), will be demonstrated at two SME facilities in UK and Italy and the knowledge generated will be shared through the stakeholder platforms. Value chains and life cycle analysis of the new bio-products (pellets, bio-energy and food supplements etc.) will be carried out to assess the environmental footprint of the valorization processes. The best practices and innovative methods will be synthesized into a decision support tool (DST) to enable informed decision making by farmers, advisory services and policy makers. To promote the adoption of IFNS in Europe, SustainFARM will communicate and disseminate through stakeholder-oriented media and tools to facilitate knowledge exchange, based on the scientific and practical agronomic knowledge generated in the project and the needs of the various stakeholder groups. The expected results are a) assessment of locally relevant IFNS b) innovative means for maximum value addition of woody components and residual waste and co-products and c) decision support tool for informed decision making by farmers, advisory services and policy makers.

     

 Figure 5: On the left, a combined food and energy production system in Denmark, in the middle, the project partner meeting at the Organic research Centre (UK) and on the right, a multipurpose olive tree production system in Italy.

 

   

 

 

SustainFARM web site will be soon available at the following address: www.sustainfarm.eu. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@SustainFarm) and Flickr.

 

 

 

Source: SustainFARM team, November 2016.


  

 5. EIP-AGRI WORKSHOP "NEW VALUE CHAINS FROM MULTIFUNCTIONAL FOREST"

 


 

During 10th-11st November 2016 some EURAF National Delegates (Anastasia Pantera, Andrea Vityi and Mike Strachan) attended the workshop of EIP-AGRI entitled “New value chains from multifunctional forests”. The workshop was held in Vienna, Austria, and was very interesting with great participation from 20 European countries. The EIP-AGRI ethos is to bridge the gap between research and practice. All the presentations and all the workshop brochures can be found here.

The aim of the workshop was to present existing examples and explore opportunities for developing innovative value chains of forest products and services which are currently underused. At the workshop there were several poster presentations of best practices.

The first part of the workshop included a review of existing "gaps", under-used value chains and possible new innovation ideas. An important objective of the workshop was to promote and inform about the EIP Operational Groups and the opportunity to fund new research projects in collaboration with farmers. The second and main part of the workshop split those attending into four thematic groups (wild food, non-food, agroforestry and recreation and tourism). In the agroforestry group, the discussions ranged from EU guidance, Member State inclusion of the measures, variety of the potential opportunities, the need for dissemination of research findings, difficulties with rurality and marketing, collaboration and lack of understanding of the terminology.

The EIP-AGRI Operational Groups may be financed under the RDP and are based on project proposals. They are designed to address a specific (practical) problem or an idea/opportunity that can lead to innovation and contribute to achieving the program objectives. Each Member State decides on their priorities for supporting innovation projects through rural development programs. The EIP Operational Groups can benefit from the increase in the EU co-financing rate. Each Operational Group is focused on its purpose and is composed of key stakeholders (such as farmers, advisors, researchers, companies, NGOs, etc.) to be able to achieve the objectives of the project, share the research experiences and disseminate the results. Information on existing Operational Groups and research projects can be found here.

 

Source: Anastasia Pantera (EURAF Deputy Secretary) and Mike Strachan (EURAF National Delegate for UK), November 2016.


  

 6. MISCELLANEOUS

 


 

Open PostDoc position in European large-scale agroforestry modelling

Here’s an exciting funded opportunity for an MSc or PhD interested in studying the promising climate adaptation potential of agroforestry in Europe! As the EU discusses how to reform the CAP and as the world begins to introduce land use and agriculture in its climate plans, this is a unique opportunity to help define the potential of one of the 21st century’s most promising agrotechnologies.

You will be looking at temperate zone agroforestry systems ranging from the oak savannahs of the Spanish Dehesas to the wheat and walnut alleys of France, and will seek to answer two key questions: what is the likely impact of climate change on temperate agroforestry systems? And what design and management choices show the most promise to adapt them to the increasing variability of future weather patterns?

You will be working with some of Europe’s most prominent agroforesters at INRA, France’s National Institute for Agronomical Research, in Montpellier, a global agro research hub that also hosts CIRAD, the IRD and the CGIAR secretariat.

During this one-year investigation, you will model the impact of climate change on the behaviour of agroforestry systems, focussing on resilience and the stability of production. You will also manage a field-scale experiment on the impact of climate change on a walnut-wheat agroforestry system.

Check this page for detail and hurry - the deadline is soon! 

  

2nd "From Field to Forest" Congress

The 2nd "From Feld to Forest" Congress will take place in Theaterkerk, Bemmel, Netherlands during 9th December 2016. The program consists of five lectures and a panel on the future of natural farming, in which the government has a place. More info here.

 

19th European Grassland Federation (EGF) Symposium

The 19th European Grassland Federation (EGF) Symposium will take place in Sardinia, Italy during 7th – 10th May 2017. The title of the Symposium is “Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios". More info here.

 

 

15th North American Agroforestry Conference

The 15th North American Agroforestry Conference will take place in Virginia, USA during 27th – 29th June 2017. The title of the Conference is ”Agroforestry for a Vibrant FutureConnecting People, Creating Livelihoods, Sustaining Places”. The Conference is for agroforestry producers, researchers, educators and those involved with related work in the fields of the permaculture and agroecology. More info here.

 

15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology

The 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology will take place in Rhodes, Greece, during 31st-2nd August-September 2017. An Agroforestry session is organized within the conference. More info here.

 

IUFRO Anniversary Congress 2017

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is organizing their 125th Anniversary Congress “Interconnecting Forests, Science and People”. The congress will take place in Freiburg, Germany, from 19th-22nd September 2017. The Congress will include an agroforestry session “Agroforestry - the future of land use management?”. More info here.


 

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

This newsletter is carried out in collaboration with the European AGFORWARD Project.

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

People in charge of the newsletter: Nuria Ferreiro Domínguez, Divina Vázquez-Varela and Mercedes Rois-Díaz (English reviewer)

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


 

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