Project news Transition to agroforestry as a climate-adapted farming system: project FarmLife

tree row in the middle of a maize field
Agroforestry is a multifunctional farming system that combines the production of trees with farming or livestock

ILVO, in the context of climate change and together with 6 partners, is looking for new business models for viable and resilient agroforestry systems. Through elaboration on pilot farms, and the development of toolkits and training for transition managers, the project partners want to support the transition to agroforestry.

Climate-adapted agricultural systems

Agroforestry or forest agriculture is a multifunctional agricultural system that diversifies and adapts production, while intervening at the level of the environmental footprint, management efforts and input costs. Thus, this system fully fits within the search for climate-adapted farming systems. The FarmLife project therefore seeks new business models for viable and resilient agroforestry systems. In addition, given the limited knowledge surrounding agroforestry, the project will also develop tools and lessons that can support the transition to agroforestry.

Innovative technologies and methods

The FarmLife project can be framed within the topic of climate adaptation and has two main goals. The first goal is to implement and demonstrate innovative adaptation technologies and land use methods on 3 farms in North Brabant (the Netherlands). This includes water management and soil conservation. The second goal is to translate the lessons learned from the work on the 3 demonstration farms, such as technical knowledge and methodological results, into learning tools and to promote and apply them.

Demonstration farms

Op de drie pilootbedrijven zullen specifieke adaptieve bedrijfsplannen voor de implementatie van agroforestry (boslandbouw) systemen gemaakt worden, met het oog op optimalisatie van ecologische en economische veerkracht bij klimaatsverandering. Daarnaast zullen, ook in Vlaanderen, masterclasses georganiseerd worden die landbouwers (en hun omgeving) ondersteunen bij de implementatie van een agroforestry systeem. De geleerde lessen worden vertaald in een "transitie toolkit". Verder wordt ook ingezet op de opleiding van transitiemanagers in agroforestry door de ontwikkeling van een MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) en een Master curriculum aan de Van Hall Larenstein Hogeschool in Nederland.

On the three pilot farms, specific adaptive business plans for the implementation of agroforestry systems will be made, with a view to optimizing ecological and economic resilience to climate change. In addition, master classes will be organized, also in Flanders, to support farmers (and their environment) in the implementation of an agroforestry system. The lessons learned will be translated into a "transition toolkit". Furthermore, efforts will also be made to train transition managers in agroforestry by developing a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) and a Master's curriculum at the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.

Project title: FarmLife

Term: 2018 - 2023

Funding: EU – Life+

Partners: Stichting Van Hall Larenstein, Boefkik BV, Bosboom BV, Horst Beheer BV, Stichting Landgoed De Koekoek, Wendeland BV


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Laure Triste

ILVO researcher

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