Agroforestry for Arable Farmers in Western France

Description of system

Between 2008 and 2013, 42 agroforestry establishment projects have been completed in the Poitou Charentes region of Western France. In total the projects cover an area of 355 ha. The projects have mainly focused on fields that are farmed organically. The systems typically comprise three to five tree species (Juglans nigra x regia, Juglans regia, Sorbus domesticus, Sorbus torminalis, Prunus avium, Fraxinus excelsior, Acer pseudoplatanus, and Quercus species). The density of trees ranges from 30 to 50 trees per hectare, typically with 27 m between rows which allows a 24 m cultivated area.


Initial stakeholder meeting

Between 3 October 2013 to 26 September 2014, AGFORWARD researchers met with 87 stakeholders, of whom 14 completed questionnaires. The most positive aspects of the agroforestry systems were seen to be the tree products and the positive effect on the general environment, biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and soil conservation. The most negative effects were felt to be the complexity of work, the impact on labour, and the cash flow and the administrative burden. Key areas for innovation were identified as: i) simplification of grants for the establishment of agroforestry systems, ii) increasing awareness, iii) the establishment of a network of reference farms, and iv) research and development on technical practice. Three technical practices of particular interest included: the choice of varieties and crop rotations, the management of grass strips, and tree protection against wild animals.

If you would like to know about the activity of this group, please contact Eric Cirou,

Download the initial stakeholder report

An initial stakeholder report was produced in November 2014.

Download the initial research and development protocol

A protocol focused on a walnut cereal system was produced in August 2015.

Download the system description

A system description report providing an update on measuring the walnut trees was produced in January 2016.