A spatial combination of woody plants and croplands is called an agroforestry system (AFS). Agroforestry has been long rooted in the European agricultural production system and is regaining prominence as a multifunctional, high-yielding land use form. It is a sustainable form of food production with many benefits over the monocropping system, such as improved biodiversity and soil composition, enhanced pest control, protection against nitrogen leaching, reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, and improved field microclimatic conditions. However, it has yet to be widely adopted in Europe.

In this project, we aim to find solutions to overcome the barriers to adopting AFS in the EU and associated countries using stakeholder knowledge of temperate agroforestry systems. We propose to use natural settings of ecology, economy, society, and limitations of agroforestry via our living labs to assess and develop agroforestry business models. We will enhance existing learning provisions and guidelines to support farmers in integrating trees into their farm business models. To encourage adoption, we plan to develop a platform linking all the actors of AFS. Using this platform, farmers from different European countries can exchange and co-create new ideas of AFS, analyzing agroforestry’s feasibility as a business model for their farms.

At HortiBonn, we will work with stakeholders (farmers, landowners, local administrators, public sector employees, researchers, advisors, farmer associations, extensionists and others) to create a conceptual benchmark model through multiple participatory processes. Key factors affecting AFS design will be analyzed, and institutional barriers to adopting AFS will be identified. Based on models and outputs from other project work packages, we will co-create a model for AFS optimization, stimulate innovation of the agroforestry value chain, and associate business models. We plan to co-create business models for AFS-specific consultancy to encourage innovation by developing and testing models at the farm level.

Work Package Leader

Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling

Postdocs on the project

Dr. Prajna Kasargodu Anebagilu


01.09.2021 to 30.09.2025 (48 months)