Agroforestry for Arable Farmers in South-West France

Description of system

In the Midi-Pyrénées region of South-West France, integrating trees with arable crops is not a traditional land use system. However with the support of an agroforestry-orientated development program financed by the region, a wide range of agroforestry systems have been established. On 12 December 2014, a group of 11 farmers from the region met to discuss the key benefits and constraints with planting trees within arable systems.

Initial stakeholder meeting

From an analysis of stakeholder responses, the three most positive aspects of a silvoarable agroforestry system were timber/wood/fruit/nut production, soil conservation, and the development of pollarding, i.e. a pruning practice where high branches on the tree are removed. The most negative issues of the system were thought to be a lack of knowledge and the management costs. Important innovations were thought to be practical field demonstrations by farmers for farmers, and the production of technical booklets and training.

If you would like to know about the activity of this group, please contact : Nina Malignier

Download the initial stakeholder report

Research Protocol

Although the original stakeholder group met in South-West France, the team from AFAF and IDF identified that data on the growth of mature walnut trees in a silvoarable system was best obtained from the region of Charentes Martimes in Western France.

Download the research protocol

System description

As indicated above, the AGFORWARD research and development associated with this stakeholder group is being undertaken in Western France

Other projects in the area

The partners in South West France are also working with the Agr'eau project and a research programme called “BAGAGES”.  The BAGAGES project aims to assess the advantages and limits of agro-ecological practices to improve water quality in the Adour-Garonne Basin and the project is coordinated by UMR AGIR (AGroecology Innovation teRritories) in Toulouse.