Forest agriculture is on the rise. A record number of farmers applied for a grant to start a forest agriculture system in the summer of 2020. So informs the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. If all applications are approved, 27 farmers will plant a total of 4,718 trees on 75 acres in the coming months. Research is also jumping on the bandwagon. Praktijkpunt Landbouw Vlaams-Brabant has planted a pilot plot for forest agriculture in Herent.
Forest agriculture, also called agroforestry, combines the planting and active management of trees with farming or ranching on the same plot of land. “This offers many advantages,” the Department states. For example, trees attract natural enemies that provide pest control in crops and protect crops from intense sun or wind. In addition, this system also increases biodiversity and soil organic matter.
In Belgium, you have the Agroforestry Institute where you can go for tips and advice.
Is your interest piqued. Then read on here and discover some useful links.