En este momento estás viendo Saxony-Anhalt’s economic and environmental vision: Minister visits Sieben Linden Eco-Village

Saxony-Anhalt’s economic and environmental vision: Minister visits Sieben Linden Eco-Village

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  • Última modificación de la entrada:27/05/2024

Agroforestry now! Mr Agriculture Minister!

On May 10th Sven Schulze, the Minister for Economic Affairs, Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, visited the Sieben Linden eco-village. The reason was his interest in the agroforestry project we were implementing . Agroforestry is a pioneering combination of agriculture with woody planting that has multiple positive environmental and climate effects. And all of this at low cost while increasing space efficiency and productivity. This is the dream of the agroforestry activists for the future of agriculture: rows of trees and bushes should, if possible, run through the large fields everywhere. There is enough space between the strips of trees for processing with agricultural machines. The Agroforestry Initiative Now! calls for better support for agroforestry as a measure against climate change and for biodiversity.

Benefits of agroforestry

Daniel Fischer, research associate in the “Agricultural Economics and Ecosystem Services” working group at the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and co-initiator of the “Agroforestry Now!” campaign, gave an introduction in a keynote speech and highlighted numerous advantages. Agroforestry binds a lot of CO2 through the trees and bushes that grow there and accelerates the build-up of humus. In addition, this particularly sustainable and climate-resistant form of land use positively changes the microclimate in the fields, prevents erosion and strengthens biodiversity. All of this can be achieved with little financial outlay, and even higher yields can be expected from the land in the long term.

Impulses for the minister

The key point of the meeting was the question of how the country can promote this sensible approach. The experts from the Altmark present had a variety of suggestions ready.

An important first step would be the removal of unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for agroforestry systems, such as special distance regulations to neighboring areas that were specifically introduced in agroforestry systems, restrictive requirements of eco-regulation and the requirement of a positively tested usage concept, which is equivalent to a permit requirement. The minister noted these practical tips with interest and promised further examination in his ministry.

An economic hurdle for farmers is that the strips of trees in an agroforestry system only produce yields after a long time. Therefore, hardly any farmer can afford to invest in agroforestry strips. The agroforestry experts present also came up with suggested solutions for this.

Dr. Wilfried Schröder, former head of land reorganization at the ALFF Stendal, brought up the idea of ​​viewing agroforestry as a production-integrated compensation measure in the context of land reorganization. As part of a land management process, agroforestry areas could be created as part of the already prescribed and financed compensation measures. This would create an incentive for the creation of agroforestry systems without additional costs for the participants in the land management process and without the need for land to be allocated to the municipality. Daniel Fischer from ZALF added:

In the near future, funding totaling 100 million euros will be made available through the Natural Climate Protection Action Program.

The decision as exactly they will be used for would partly be up to the states, and there is great potential here . He also pointed out that Saxony-Anhalt was the country selected as a project region within the framework of the European funding project AF4EU and that this was an opportunity to set a positive example and set new standards.

Tree planting

After the technical discussion, the minister did not miss the opportunity to visit the various agroforestry areas of the Sieben Linden ecovillage. In bright sunshine, he planted a walnut tree on a field that is managed as an agroforestry system in a cooperation between the eco-village and the Apenburg cattle farm. If the demands of the agroforestry initiatives are anything to go by, this is the beginning of a large-scale transformation in agriculture.