Main research question
The performance of agroforestry is highly context-dependent. Several issues hinder large-scale adoption, such as lack of a conclusive regulatory framework. In addition, tools are lacking to reliably assess the economic, environmental and social assets of agroforestry, and to use these insights for smart design and optimal management of agroforestry systems. Tools to monitor and adjust the impact of policy measures are also still largely non-existent. Addressing that gap could give agroforestry a strong boost.
DigitAF brings together expertise from across Europe to overcome these bottlenecks and accelerate the implementation of agroforestry in practice. The common thread throughout the project is to make existing and new decision-support tools and models more accessible. The tools must be open-source, user-friendly and relevant to practice. Therefore, the consortium partners will ensure that the DigitAF tools will continue to be used after the project ends: open source and fully reusable code and data will be the norm.
To ensure practical relevance, Living Labs of agroforestry farmers and other stakeholders are also launched in six European countries. They will identify local needs, knowledge gaps and lack of tools. The existing Agroforestry Flanders network of thematic action clusters will regularly coordinate with the Dutch Living Lab in this respect.
Specifically for farmers and their advisors, DigitAF will provide tools to help them optimally design and manage agroforestry systems at field and farm scale. This will include tools to assess, quantify and valorise the economic, environmental and social performance and benefits of agroforestry. Finally, DigitAF is committed to informing and supporting regional, national and European policy actors so that they can implement more effective, enabling policies.