En este momento estás viendo Second workshop of the German RAIN

Second workshop of the German RAIN

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Practice and science are working on new business models for agroforestry in Saxony-Anhalt

At the beginning of February, pioneers from practice and science met in Halle (Saale) for the second workshop of the AF4EU project promoting agroforestry in the EU. The participants worked together to develop solutions for agroforestry value chains in the region. The meeting was organized by the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) with the working group “Agricultural Economics and Ecosystem Services” as the German partner of the EU joint project.

The 30 participants of the workshop included farmers, agricultural advisors and representatives from the private sector, science and civil society. Six local farms presented their agroforestry practices and provided exciting insights. In addition, three impulse presentation by scientists from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences provided insights from their research work to show future value creation opportunities in the field of agroforestry.

Farmers from the region presented their agroforestry practices and discussed profitable value chains for products from this sustainable form of farming with researchers and actors from agriculture and civil society Source: © Thiesmeier & Thös / ZALF

Following the presentations, participants discussed potential value chains in the region with the help of three selected case study farms. The resulting insights will be incorporated into a EU-wide knowledge platform to make it easier for agricultural practitioners from Saxony-Anhalt and beyond to get acquainted with agroforestry practices and value chains.

Dr. agr. Peter Zander, head of the “Agricultural Economics and Ecosystem Services” working group at ZALF, explained the intention of the project:

Agroforestry makes sense for many ecological reasons, but I understand that some farmers are still hesitant to plant trees that will take years to produce crops again. We therefore try to support them in developing successful value chains by evaluating existing data and systematically developing scenarios using our models.

The event at the Weinbergcampus in Halle an der Saale was hosted by Prof. Dr. Christopher Conrad from the Institute for Geosciences and Geography at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), who emphasizes the far-reaching significance of the project:

The exchange between science and practice is crucial to overcoming the great challenge of achieving climate-resilient and economically sustainable agricultural landscapes at the same time. The AF4EU project offers everyone an excellent dialogue platform to better exploit the potential of agroforestry.

In addition to a variety of possible value chains and marketing channels for products from agroforestry systems, the use and utilization of wood represents an important future perspective, as Prof. Dr. Matthias Zscheile from the Faculty of Wood Technology and Construction at the Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences and board member of Bioeconomy e.V. Leuna explained:

The opportunity of agroforestry is to generate additional biomass supply for material utilization. We are very happy to support the initiative of the Agroforestry Innovation Network in Saxony-Anhalt as one of the most important European regions in the field of wood-based bioeconomy, especially the world’s first and largest wood-based biorefinery.