Mareike Jäger

ARGE Agroforst

Knowledge transfer and implementation of agroforesty systems in Austria

Topic area
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation
Climate protection and climate change

Disaggregation level
Climate protection
Climate change adaptation
Nature conservation
Environmental protection
EIP European Innovation Partnership

Project region
Lower Austria
Upper Austria

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period
2019-2022 (geplantes Projektende)

Project costs overall

EN - 16.01.1. Unterstützung beim Aufbau & Betrieb operationeller Gruppen der EIP für lw. Produktivität & Nachhaltigkeit

Project initiator
ARGE Agroforst

Short description

The progressing climatic change in the regions dominated by arable farming in East Austria cause agricultural holdings to test new growing methods, among them also agroforestry types of utilisation. In Austria there are, so far, only sporadic examples of implementation, and there exists neither a contact point for interested agricultural holdings, nor a network for the exchange of information and experience between practice and science. The project will establish on six arable farms site- and farm-adapted agroforestry systems and will make available insights from this pioneer work to other farms and multipliers.

Point of departure

In the course of climate change the agricultural landscape has been exposed to massive ecological changes, e.g. droughts, severe rainfall, soil erosion and yield losses. Agricultural enterprises find themselves increasingly forced to get engaged with modern growing systems which are adapted to the changed environmental conditions. Up-to-date and site-adapted agroforestry systems constitute innovative approaches to solutions for meeting the challenges of the agriculture of the future, because they provide economic and ecological advantages for climate, soil, water balance, biodiversity and diversification. In spite of these advantages they are hardly implemented in Austria. Because, whereas for other EU countries scientific insights and implementation experiences are available, there is no contact point and no specific network for persons interested in agroforestry in Austria, in order to obtain know-how in a targeted way. – This deficit is even worse in view of the fact that the establishment of agroforestry systems constitutes a type of management with a long-term perspective and thus has to be well-considered. This project aims at closing knowledge gaps by means of implementing agroforestry systems at model farms and by developing a national network of practitioners and scientists, and by working out guidance documents.

Targets and target groups

1. Implementation of agroforestry systems on 6 pioneer farms with the support of experienced consultants from Germany and Switzerland.
2. Accompanying studies: Survey of the economic efficiency on at least 3 farms. Modelling of the climate effect, survey of the stock development, clarification of the legal situation as a basis for a discussion on future funding options
3. Spreading of the results: Preparation of an information brochure for farm managers, consulting documents for representations of interest, recommendations for actions for the future of agroforestry in Austria, establishment of an agroforestry homepage, organisation of a meeting.