Agroforestry increasing in Europe
Agroforestry is undergoing resurgence among many EU countries for its environmental and production benefits.
The Independent from Ireland outlines how agroforestry is not only about having trees on farms – such as in hedgerows to delineate boundaries which are common in Ireland – but involves incorporating trees as specific crops in their own right among other crops or livestock.
Agroforestry was once popular throughout central Europe for fruits and nuts and in conjunction with livestock. The practice has decreased significantly over the past 100 years.
The article outlines the many environmental benefits of agroforestry, including its ability to improve soils and nutrients, and conserve water and biodiversity. Agroforestry reduces nitrogen leaching as the deeper-rooting trees capture the nitrogen not used by crops.
Agroforestry systems also sequester large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and increase biodiversity, in some instances helping to control crop pests.
Read the full story: Agroforestry: A unique pathway to securing a more sustainable future