Starting this year the German Association for Agroforestry (DeFAF) is now offering an extensive training program on agroforestry for farmers (practicioner course) and agricultural advisors (planning course). The two courses, lasting about a year, are organized in the frame of the Agroforestry Academy, which is planned to be developed into a recognized training center for topics related to agroforestry in the long term.
With the new courses there is now a comprehensive training offer for agricultural practitioners to acquire practical knowledge for the planning and management of agroforestry systems. In addition to theoretical basics, the courses primarily impart practical knowledge on topics such as planting techniques, the choice of the right tree and shrub species for different locations and specific planning methods. The content is partly conveyed in the form of online seminars as well as in several face-to-face sessions at a total of three different locations in Germany. Next to theoretical lessons on specific topics the courses include practical exercises on-site at several agroforestry sites. Especially in the agroforestry planning course concrete tasks are to be prepared in self-study and presented to the group. At the end of the planning course, the participants will receive an official course certificate by the DeFAF.
In order to enable the implementation of the new skills into practice as much as possible both courses are linked with each other. For two face-to-face sessions all trainees come together and the premises of the participants in the practitioner course are planned to be used as practical case studies for the planning of agroforestry systems by the advisors in the planning course.
After the registration deadline has expired at the end of February, both courses are fully booked now with each 16 participants. The first face-to-face session, official start of the courses, will be launched on May 23rd in Niederkaufungen, which is close to a new agroforestry site that will be used as one excursion target. The DeFAF is looking forward to implementing the first agroforestry courses as an important step towards building the needed competencies for implementing agroforestry in Germany as a sustainable and essential land use method.