agroforestry – a new initiative

Apr 15, 2018

We’ve recently become aware of a new network, AFINET, which aims to support innovation in agroforestry through enhancing knowledge transfer between farmers, foresters, researchers, advisers and government services, and though you might like to hear about it.

what is AFINET?

AFINET is a European thematic network of 13 partners from Spain, United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Italy, France and Finland. It is led by the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

what is agroforestry?

Agroforestry involves the intentional inclusion of trees and shrubs into crop and/or animal production systems to create environmental, economic and social benefits. Agroforestry can increase farm profitability and help to conserve and protect natural resources both now and for generations to come.

how does the AFINET project work?

Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks (RAINs) will be established in each of the partner countries. RAINs are working groups where farmers, foresters, researchers, advisers and government services can come together to share experiences and explore opportunities to improve current agroforestry practice. Each RAIN will be focused on a specific theme, based on the interests of local stakeholders and identified through a process of consultation.

RAINs will co-ordinated by an Innovation Broker. They will be responsible for establishing relationships within the regional network, as well as promoting the exchange of knowledge among the other countries involved in the project.

what information is exchanged and transferred?

AFINET seeks to build knowledge and strengthen understanding of agroforestry practice. It will achieve this by addressing the knowledge gaps and other main challenges f acing the Agroforestry sector through providing greater access to research findings (both published and unpublished), identifying and extending awareness of good current practice, and by disseminating innovative ideas.

how will the information and knowledge be disseminated?

AFINET will use a range of strategies to ensure effective dissemination of information: innovation factsheets, videos, innovations tutorials, newsletters, training modules and technical articles. These materials will be stored in the Knowledge Cloud, a user-friendly online repository that will integrate and synthesize existing sources of information, from across Europe and internationally.

In addition, regional events, training sessions and conferences will be organized to share knowledge collected during the project.

how will AFINET make an impact?

AFINET will support the effective implementation of the innovations identified by the RAINs members, promote new operational groups and create links with regional/national policymakers. Through its partner network, AFINET will disseminate local solutions which have been identified through regional RAINs, to other regions and countries.

Thanks to the active participation of AFINET within the European Innovation Partnership ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’ ideas generated by the RAINs network will contribute to the development of the future European research agenda. An EU Parliamentary Session in Brussels will be organized to share AFINET results with the policymakers from the European Commission.

how can you participate?

If you want to be part of a RAIN: please contact the Innovation Broker in your country. See the contact details in the RAINs section on the AFINET website.

If you want to see their progress: see their website or sign up for their newsletter

If you are already part of an agroforestry initiative and want to collaborate, send an email to their co-ordinator.

For full details:

photos: from AFINET website

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