Agroforestry – an Environmental and Production Alternative in Agriculture

Platform for the Landscape coordinated by the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences invites you to the conference Agroforestry – an Environmental and Production Alternative in Agriculture that will take place on April 18 2019 in the building of the Czech Academy of Sciences. It is organized by the Czech Association for Agroforestry under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Commission for the Environment of the Czech Academy of Sciences entitled.  The main objective of the conference is to present existing best practices, research results and policy in countries where agroforestry systems are already in place and subject of research. To register, use the form by 10 April 2019 at the latest.

Agroforestry systems (AFS) are a group of farming methods that combine the cultivation of woody plants with one or more forms of agricultural production, be it crop or livestock farming.

Their greatest benefits reside in their anti-erosion functions, more favourable nutrient balance (limiting the need for external inputs), positive effects on biodiversity, elimination of nitrate leaching and improvement of carbon sequestration in soil. AFS are also effective in water protection (by balancing the water equilibrium in the landscape and modifying water chemistry). Last but not least, AFS contribute significantly to mitigating climatic extremes and their repercussions (e.g. long droughts and torrential rains) by improving microclimates, cooling the landscape and supporting the so-called ‘small water cycle’, enhancing water infiltration, etc. Moreover, modern agroforestry systems on arable land are compatible with current agro-technical processes using existing machinery, they diversify risks and are promising even from the points of view of production and economy. This is the reason why these systems are increasingly being seen as alternatives to conventional agriculture in many European countries and the world. In the territory of Czechia, farming with trees was common until the beginning of the 20th century, so it is by no means a new idea. The introduction of modern agroforestry systems with significant non-productive functions would increase the competitiveness and sustainability of Czech agriculture.

The Czech Agroforestry Association, in cooperation with other organizations, has held a series of seminars and conferences related to this topic. Now, partner institutions and platforms are organizing a follow-up conference at which new experience, best practices and results of recent scientific research will be presented alongside policies in different European countries where agroforestry has been an integral part of agricultural management for years and decades. Almost all speakers, who include farmers, representatives of the European Agroforestry Association (EURAF) and scientists with long-term experience with agroforestry, are from abroad.

The conference is held on April 18 2019 in the building of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Národní 3, Prague, hall 206.