The Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Research (ILVO) is an independent scientific research institute of the Flemish government. The government has instructed it to contribute to making the agriculture, fisheries and agri-food sectors more sustainable . Initially in Flanders, but by extension also in Belgium, Europe and the rest of the world.
One of their hobbyhorses is Agroforestry or agroforestry. This is a land use system in which the cultivation of agricultural crops or livestock farming is combined with the production of woody plants, usually trees, on the same plot. But what advantages does that have? Which trees can you plant and how should you manage them? How can you best coordinate the various production elements? And which business models exist for agroforestry?
At the moment they are fully engaged in a research project ‘Actionlab Food Forests’ and they are conducting a lot of research into economic models, combating diseases and pests and the economic feasibility of agroforestry.
There are also a number of ‘pilot projects’ in which they are experimenting with other cultivation methods.
They also provide advice and guidance for those who want to get started with agroforestry in a ‘professional’ way.
If you want to get started in a professional way, it is definitely worth knocking on this door.