Mixed land use systems form the central theme of the EU's sister projects AGROMIX and MIXED. In addition, both projects devote special attention to agroforestry. As of this year and for the first time, agroforestry is part of German agricultural administration and support systems.
On February 28, the Institute for Applied Material Flow Management (IfaS) at Trier University of Applied Sciences, a partner in the AGROMIX project, invited participants to exchange experiences on the legal and administrative framework conditions for agroforestry in Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The workshop aimed at discussing current developments, identifying administrative barriers and working on perspectives for further advancement. A well balanced mix of small group work, moderated by the IfLS among others, and plenary discussions led to a committed and lively exchange between all participants.
According to the Regulation on the implementation of CAP direct payments (GAPDZV), agroforestry systems require management concepts. The exemplary completion of the corresponding application revealed various pitfalls - from divergent specifications for agroforestry systems (basic premium vs. eco-scheme) to the complex registration of complementary plantings. In this context, planning agroforestry systems focused on land use and land status (arable land, grassland or permanent crops), lease conditions as well as the selection of tree species and planting location. Last but not least, the possibilities for realizing social benefits of agroforestry from a regional perspective were discussed, be it for the renaturation of water bodies, erosion and water management, energy generation or as a production-integrated compensation measure.
In summary, the participants considered the event to be very informative, since it highlighted the manifold possibilities of agroforestry systems on the one hand, but also the existing hurdles on the other. Although the new CAP is an important first step, there is still a clear need for further information and action to establish agroforestry as a building block of sustainable agriculture in Germany.
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Contact persons at IfLS: Simone Sterly (sterly[at]ifls.de) and Holger Pabst (pabst[at]ifls.de)