Newsletter N°11, May 2015

 

Pdf version of this newsletter

1. EURAF ACTIVITIES

2. REGIONAL AGROFORESTRY NEWS

2.1 Agroforestry policies in the EU in the RPDs 2007-2013

2.2 European research project AgroCop

3. FEATURED FARM: introduction of a Hungarian farmer family, Tüzkövesbörc Farm

4. ADVERTISEMENT: a technique to plant efficiently in dry land and for a long time

5. MISCELLANEOUS

 


 

 1 EURAF ACTIVITIES


 

This month EURAF is pleased to announce that a Focus Group has been approved by the EIP. EURAF candidature was one of the three focus groups selected out of 192 proposals. The focus group approved is “Agroforestry / mixed systems / farms diversification” and the call for experts will be probably launched next November.

Moreover, during the last two month EURAFs policy activities included a number of contributions to the European Commission, mainly related to the Organic Farming CDG discussion (Jeroen Watté), Arable Crops (Nuria Ferreiro-Domínguez) and also to the LEADER subgroup of the European Assembly of the Rural Development Network (Rosa Mosquera-Losada). More recently, EURAF represented by Rosa Mosquera and Gerry Lawson participated in the “Rural Development” and the “Direct payments and greening” CDGs where “grazable” trees concept was discussed.

Implementation of the CAP 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes is being tracked: a) almost 50 national or regional Rural Development Programmes have been approved, and published, but many more remain under discussion; b) the eligibility of agroforestry parcels for direct payments (Pillar 1) remains uncertain (particularly the national interpretations of Regulation 640/2014 Articles 9 and 10).

EURAF inputs to the discussion of agroforestry in Parliament's report on the European Forestry Strategy (EFS) continued, and this report now contains 3 useful references to agroforestry. It was approved in a plenary session of the Parliament on March 27th. EURAF will follow the discussion about the EFS within the European Council to make contributions.

Several workshops were also held and attended by EURAF members:

- Gerry Lawson attended the annual meeting on monitoring the EU Land Parcel Identification System, and contributed to a draft recommendation that the 100 tree rule should not be applied to parcels containing entirely immature trees, such as those funded under the Pillar II, Article 23 of Regulation 1305/2013.

- Rosa Mosquera-Losada attended the Climate Smart Agriculture Conference in Montpellier, where many examples of agroforestry, a sustainable practice, were presented. Participants from more than 20 countries visited the extraordinary field site at Restinclières, guided by former EURAF president, Christian Dupraz. The conference also highlighted the need to evaluate the role of agroforestry in climate change mitigation and adaptation at a landscape level.

- Rosa also gave a presentation on “Reducing pollution in agriculture land, agroforestry and common agrarian policy” at the European Geosciences Union Congress in Vienna. It generated a good debate among researchers and SMEs.

EURAF is preparing contributions to the following EU public consultations that you can see at the end of this Newsletter. If you wish to contribute to these consultations and help to promote agroforestry, please do not hesitate to contact us: the more contributions the better! 

 

Source: María Rosa Mosquera Losada (EURAF President), Gerry Lawson (EURAF Deputy President) and Jerone Watté (EURAF Secretary), May 2015.

 


 

2 REGIONAL AGROFORESTRY NEWS


 

2.1 Agroforestry policies in the EU in the RPDs 2007-2013

The past Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) recognised that agroforestry systems have “high ecological and social value” and their establishment should be encouraged (EU Regulation 1698/2005). A financial support was thus introduced in the EU Rural Development Programmes (RDPs) during the 2007-2013 programming period, aiming at promoting the first establishment of new agroforestry systems on arable lands (measure 222).

The measure 222 was listed in the set of “Forestry measures” included in the Axis 2 of the RDPs “Improving the environment and the countryside” and regulated by article 36 (b) aimed to target the sustainable use of forestry land, the expansion of forest resources in agricultural or not agricultural land, the promotion of the combination of extensive agriculture and forestry systems. Other forestry measures related to the afforestation of agricultural land and non-agricultural land were measure 221 and 223, respectively (Table 1). 

 

Table 1: Framework of the measures 221, 222 and 223 according to the Reg. (EC) 1698/2005 

Measure code

Measure name

Subsides for

Expected Impact

221

First afforestation of agricultural land

Establishment cost; maintenance costs; compensation for loss of income.

Biodiversity; soil; climate change; water

222

First establishment of agroforestry systems on agricultural land

Establishment costs

Biodiversity; landscape; water, climate change

223

First afforestation of non-agricultural land

Establishment costs; maintenance costs

Landscape; biodiversity; water, climate change

 

At EU 27 level, during the past programme, a total amount of about 7 billion of Euro was allocated to forestry measures, of which about 4.7 billion were actually spent giving an average implementation rate of 67.3%. Among the forestry measures (Figure 1), measure 221 received the highest budget (about 36.5% of the total budget of forestry measures) and, unfortunately, measure 222 the lowest (about 0.2%). Limited resources were also allocated to measure 223 (about 5.6%).  

Fig.1: Resources distributed among the forestry measures of the RDPs 2007-2013 at EU level

 

Measure 221 was budgeted in 64 RDPs, measure 222 in 10 RDPs and measure 223 in 35 RDPs across European regions. Nevertheless, not all regions effectively opened the calls to apply for grants: measures and 221 was implemented in all 64 regions, measure 222 only in 5 regions and measure 223 in 30 regions (Figure 2).

 

 

 

 

Fig. 2: EU Regions that allocated resources (on the left) and implemented (on the right) measure 221, 222 and 223

 

At the end of the programming period 2007-2013, measures 221 and 223 gained the highest implementation rate in terms of afforested area (respectively 43.7% and 42.7%, of the planned target). In terms of number of beneficiaries these two measures recorded a value of 26.4% and 20.7% of the expected target. On the contrary, measure 222 gained the lowest implementation rate, both in terms of targeted area (4.1% of the expected area) and target beneficiaries (4.1% of the expected beneficiaries), Figure 3.

 

Fig. 3: Percentage of targeted area invested (left) and targeted beneficiaries (right) implemented with the measures 221, 222 and 223

 

At country level (Table 5), Hungary appears to be the most virtuous country since the implementation rate of the measure 222 was 25.6%. In the other four countries, the uptake of the measures was limited and the implementation rate ranges between 0.8 (Italy) to 3.1 (France).

Most of the beneficiaries established agroforestry systems on grassland (99 beneficiaries over 120), especially in Hungary; and broadleaves were the most utilised tree species (in 1196 ha over 1212 ha).

The analysis of the application of the measure 222 under the Rural Development Programme, 2007-2013, reveals an extremely weak implementation at EU 27 level. A limited amount of economic resources have been allocated to the measure 222 in comparison to other forestry measures, in particular in relation to the measures 221 and 223. Moreover, those resources have been underutilised determining a low uptake of the measure 222. Instead, traditional afforestation measures seem to be the most attractive support for European farmers. In particular measure 221 received the highest amount of resources and recorded the highest implementation rate in terms of realised expenditures compared to the programmed one.

 

Table 2: Resources allocated to the measure 222 and expenditures at country level (EU27) 

Country

Region

Resources

Realised

Implementation rate

Belgium

Flanders

500000

11752

 

Total

500000

11752

2.4

France

Hexagon

2852202

101138

 

Guadeloupe

326000

0

 

Guyane

50000

0

 

Total

3228202

101138

3.1

Hungary

 Total

2813540

720574

25.6

Italy

Marche

1270000

0

 

Veneto

30000

9797

 

Total

1300000

9797

0.8

Portugal

Mainland

6644519

102827

 

Azores

160000

0

 

Total

6804519

102827

1.5

UK

Northern Ireland

96610

0

 

Total

96610

0

0.0

Total EU 27

 

14742871

946088

6.42

 

Several reasons concurred to this un-success of the measure 222 across European regions and countries:

i) the lack of knowledge and awareness of farmers, consultants and managing authorities concerning agroforestry, which makes it necessary to create innovation groups;

ii) the limited range of agroforestry systems that could be supported (only trees for timber or biomass, excluding, for example fruit trees, silvopastoral systems, etc. and only linked to silvoarable practices, therefore neglecting others like silvopastoral);

iii) the lack of funding to cover maintenance costs of the AF systems compared with the other two measures, 221 and 223, that supported maintenance costs;

iv) the conflict between measure 222 and other CAP instruments included in the Pillar I such as the Single Farm Payment, according to which the presence of trees reduces the amount of direct farm payments.

 

Current CAP 2014-2020

Even though most to the EU RDPs are not yet approved, some changes have already been shown in the current CAP H2014-2020. Among these changes, the current CAP allows Pillar I payments to agroforestry practices as part of the Ecological Focus areas. The limit of the number of trees per hectare has been increased with respect to the previous CAP. The concept of permanent grassland has been changed, and may include silvopastoral systems, integrating the woody component is also highly relevant for the use of AF in high fire risk regions of Europe. Within the Pillar II, AF has better support including maintenance costs for a period of 5 years. However, this period (5 years) is still less than half compared to the subsides foreseen for the afforestation of agricultural lands (12 years). Consequently, some countries do not foresee agroforestry support in their respective rural development programs. Funding is reduced when declaring an agroforestry activity within a forest, so it is more convenient to apply for afforestation grant, even when using the forest for AF activities.

Therefore, these changes are still insufficient to reach an adequate support of AF from the European institutions, considering the important role of AF as recognized by the FAO to create Smart Climate Agriculture (FAO 2014). The maximum number of trees should be raised; the maintenance payments should be similar to that in measure 221 and 223. All types of AF practices should be promoted as already done in the USA (USDA 2011).

Due to the recognized benefits of agroforestry from a productive, environmental and social point of view to improve rural development (FAO 2014), an EU agroforestry strategy should be created like that already written in USA (2011) and India (2014).

 

References:

Innovation Systems. In: Agricultural innovation systems. An investment source book. The World Bank. pp 221-231. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTARD/Resources/335807-1330620492317/9780821386842.pdf

U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2011. Report: USDA AF strategic framework, fiscal year 2011-2016. Washington, DC. 35 p. http://www.usda.gov/ documents/AFStratFrame_FINAL-lr_6-3-11.pdf. (31 May 2013).

World Bank 2012 Agricultural innovation systems. An investment source book. The World Bank http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTARD/Resources/335807-1330620492317/9780821386842.pdf

 

Source: Andrea Pisanelli, Javier Santiago, Adolfo Rosatti, Rosa Mosquera, May 2015.

 


 

2.2 European research project AgroCop

European Research project AgroCop finished in January 2015.

The WoodWisdom-Net project "AgroCop – Maximizing Timber and Energy Wood Production by Innovative Agroforestry Systems with Short Rotation Coppice as Intercrop"- aimed to investigate how the production of high quality timber and feedstock wood for energy use can be increased in Europe. Both products will play an important role in the European bio-based economy of the future, but currently it is predicted that the availability of these resources will not be sufficient to satisfy the future demand.

To address its research objectives, AgroCop utilised two approaches for wood production on agricultural land, namely:

1) Agroforestry Systems

2) Short Rotation Coppice

More specifically, AgroCop assessed the potential of a combined use of these two systems in one new system described as “Alley Coppice” (Morhart et al. 2014, see http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13595-014-0373-5). In this system, Short Rotation Coppice is grown as an intercrop between rows of high value timber trees.

AgroCop was a joint research project involving five European countries, its main partners being the Forest Research Institute Baden-Württemberg and the Chair of Forest Growth at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg (DEU), CNR-IBAF in Porano (ITA), INRA Montpellier (FRA), and Teagasc in Dublin (IRL).

More information about the project and the publications generated are available at www.agrocop.com.

As a recent Agrocop output, we published a guideline that explains in detail how to produce valuable wood in Agroforestry Systems – i.e. outside of forests on agricultural land.

Being specifically written for practitioners, our guideline explains what is important for the successful planting, management and harvest of valuable timber trees.

This guideline is available as a free download at this link:

http://www.agrocop.com/home/downloads (see other downloads: “Management guidelines for valuable wood production in AFS.pdf”) 

 

Source: Dr. Michael Nahm, Professur für Waldwachstum/Chair of Forest Growth, Albert-Ludwings-Universität Freiburg, Tennenbacher StraBe 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany, May 2015.

  


 

3     FEATURED FARM: “Restarting high nature and cultural value wood pasture management consciously”

Introduction of a Hungarian farmer family, Tűzkövesbörc Farm

 


 

Like in other parts of Europe, wood pastures and silvopastoral systems were integral parts of traditional land use patterns and extensive livestock keeping for thousands of years in Hungary. This type of land management was a dominant feature up to the mid-twentieth century. The underlying causes for its deterioration include industrialisation, intensive forestry management and agriculture. These man-made interventions led to the elimination of extensive livestock farming and abandonment of wood pastures. As a result pastures became shrubby and reforested.

The same story applied to the pasture in the outskirts of Pénzesgyőr-Hárskút communities and the adjacent farmsteads of Szentgál, before a ranger turned farmer ‘Tibor Nagy’ and his family moved in and started to manage Tűzkövesbörc Farm. As a conservationist, Tibor Nagy was faced with practical issues related to high nature value farming. He started to keep livestock to gain experience on the feasibility of practical implementation of nature conservation objectives and requirements. At this time he farmed protected but treeless grassland in the plains, not a wooded pasture. Implementation of nature conservation objectives did not cause any significant problem for his husbandry, however, changeable and unpredictable weather did. He and his family decided to look for pastures in the country where weather and climate change have less discernible impacts. This is how they found the abandoned wooded pasture in the Bakony, with many beech and hornbeam trees and even more distinct owners. Having purchased the land they began cutting shrubs and grazing livestock 8 years ago. Shrubs – typically hawthorn, blackthorn, hedge rose, wild pear – are cut by machine and chainsaw. Attention is paid to leave tree re-growth in place and to provide natural protection by retaining some thorny bushes. Ancient, crumbling, trees are left in the area consciously.

 Fig. 4: The farmer with his daughter riding a buffalo.

Fig. 5: Renewed wood pasture with ancient, crumbling, trees left deliberately in the area (Tűzkövesbörc Farm)

Fig. 6: The farmer's daughter with a Hucul horse.

The main aim of their farming is to preserve the genetic stock of native breeds and to produce breeders. They follow the retaining selection principle for which the appropriate environment is provided by the wooded pasture. Livestock is kept outdoors all year round. In extreme weather and during calving and lambing season livestock are sheltered by trees, woodlots, thicker forest stands and not by constructions or buildings. Grazing is arranged in grazing pens supplemented with some pasturing. Traditional native breeds are kept, namely, Hungarian Grey Cattle, Hucul horses, Cikta sheep, Cigája sheep, Buffalo, Hungarian goats, Komondor dogs, Bukovinai herder dogs and Hungarian vizsla dogs.

 

Their products were first marketed for export and after this they managed with great effort to get their meat and dairy products onto the domestic market. Partly they sell on the local market (Akli Major piac, Zirc) nearby, and also by direct marketing strategies. More recently they started to popularise the use of the long forgotten and special wool of the Cikta sheep, collaborating with a local folk art association (Fehérvéri Kézművesek Egyesülete).

On top of all that, transfer of the know-how related to the revitalisation of wood pastures is considered the most important task, a traditional knowledge base vanishing across Europe causing the biggest problem when traditional agricultural activities are at stake. You can even say that the rebirth of the lost traditional ecological knowledge was associated with abandoned former wooded pastures. Family life is intertwined with the operation of wood pastures as a matter of course, to be thanked partly to the fact that their house sits in a corner of the pasture. On the other hand, the local school provides an opportunity to learn at home, thus the children are able to gain their own experiences on and learn from their parents the management of wood pastures each day of the year and under any kind of weather conditions.

 

Fig. 7: Vica, Tibor's wife sells their agroforestry farm products in the local market in Tűzkövestanya

 

 

Reforestation of wooded pastures is a natural process; therefore you must not disregard the natural processes when you reactivate them. A wooded pasture is not only a foraging ground for the grazing livestock. When we use a wooded pasture, we have to live with the land and let nature come in. The beginning is not easy, it needs resources and workmanship. When lacking professionalism, advice from the nature conservation agricultural consultant is needed." (words of Tibor Nagy)

If you listen, the land will return such attention manifold in terms of mushrooms, dewberry jam, beauty, the fragrance of violets, song of birds, and the living space sound for both man and livestock.”(quote by Nagy Tiborné, the farmer’s wife).

 

We invite you to discover the following web-links for further information:

·         Tűzkövesbörc Tanya Farm on Facebook (link)

·         Market with local products in Akli Major piac, Zirc (link)

·         The local folk art association “Fehérvéri Kézművesek Egyesülete” (link)

 

Source: varga [dot] anna [at] gmail [dot] com (Anna Varga), MTA ÖK ÖBI, NyME KKK, Tihany, Hungary, April 2015.

 


 

  4 ADVERTISEMENT:  a technique to plant efficiently in dry land and for a long time

 


 

An efficient technique to plant trees

Fig. 8: Compo Verde Logo

This irrigation shaft stimulates the growth of roots in depth in bringing directly to roots water and nutriments. Roots absorb water and nutrients along the shaft.

It leads roots to deep layers of the soil where the temperature is constant, allowing better growth of roots, even during dry or cold seasons.

It makes plants more resistant, because roots are less exposed to unfavourable factors in deep soil and it favours storage of reserves in roots.

 

  • Save some water and fertilizers (as much as 90%):

In traditional irrigated arboriculture, a lot of water is evaporated without being used by plants. With this system the water goes down in the soil to benefit solely the plant.

  • Obtain more resistant trees:

When a tree is planted, you must stimulate its roots system to obtain the most sturdy tree. A firmly implanted tree will resist better to a changing environment.

  • Grow and produce faster:

With this method, trees thrive and produce earlier than with irrigation on the surface.

 

More information on www.compoverde.com  Download the flyer

 

Fig. 9: Description of the technique 

  


 

  5 MISCELLANEOUS  


 

 

Public Consultation on the "Integration of Agriculture, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 EU climate and energy policy framework"

The European Commission (DG CLIMA) has launched a public consultation on the "Integration of Agriculture, Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 EU climate and energy policy framework" (http://ec.europa.eu/clima/consultations/articles/0026_en.htm)

The consultation is published on Europa website at: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/CLIMA_CONSULTATION_AGRI_LULUCF_2030

Deadline: 18/06/2015

Source: Gerry Lawson, EURAF Deputy President, May 2015. 

 

Public Consultation on the "EU Timber Regulation Review"

Here you can access the questionnaire: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/nature_fitness_check_en.htm

Here you can read more about the 'fitness check' for EU nature legislation:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/index_en.htm

Deadline: 15/04/2015 – 08/07/2015

Source: María Rosa Mosquera Losada, EURAF President, May 2015. 

 

Public consultation as part of the "Fitness Check of the EU nature legislation (Birds and Habitats Directives)"

Here you can access the questionnaire: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/nature_fitness_check_en.htm

Here you can read more about the "fitness check" for EU nature legislation: 

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/legislation/fitness_check/index_en.htm  

Deadline: 30/04/2015 – 24/07/2015

Source: María Rosa Mosquera Losada, EURAF President, May 2015. 

 

Public Consultation: "Consultation on the preparation of a legislative proposal on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the European Union´s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitment in a 2030 perspective"

Here you can read more: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/consultations/articles/0025_en.htm

Deadline: 26/03/2015 – 18/06/2015

Source: María Rosa Mosquera Losada, EURAF President, May 2015.  

 


 

This is your newsletter! If there’s anything you think should be included, please pass suggestions to euraf [at] agroforestry [dot] eu (euraf [at] agroforestry [dot] eu) for inclusion in the next issue.

This newsletter is carried out in collaboration with the European AGFORWARD Project.

Editorial Committee: Rosa Mosquera Losada, Gerry Lawson, Jeroen Watté, Adolfo Rosati, Sylvène Laborie-Roussel, Joana Amaral Paulo, Bert Reubens, Bohdan Lojka, Alain Canet, Xavier Devaux, Norbert Lamersdorf, Heinrich Spiecker, Konstantinos Mantzanas, Anastasia Pantera, Andrea Vityi, Andrea Pisanelli, Sami Kryeziu, Robert Borek, João Palma, Gerardo Moreno, Johanna Björklund, Felix Herzog, Mareike Jäger, Mark Vonk, Emiel Anssems, Jo Smith, Mike Strachan.

Person in charge of the newsletter: Anja Chalmin, Nuria Ferreiro Domínguez, Teresa Piñeiro López

Edition Place: Lugo (Spain)


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