Agroforestry – growing annual crops with woody species (trees and shrubs) and/or livestock – is an agroecological practice that can contribute to the transformation of conventional agriculture, which has being recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations and the European Commission. The prevailing agricultural system, i.e. conventional farming or modern agriculture, in which monocultures with high inputs are the common business, have indeed increased food production between 70 or 90% in the last 50 years. However, the increase in production has come with clear downsides, for example decline in soil productivity, water pollution and depletion, plant pathogens resistant to pesticides, greenhouse gases, massive loss of pollinators. Conventional agriculture needs a transition towards climate adaptive strategies along all the value chain, from farm to fork. In this time of climate change and globalisation, the challenging and dynamic business environment pushes stakeholders to think out-of-the-box and create new business alternatives for which agroforestry can offer profitable and climate resilient value chains.
An Agroforestry Chain Management specialist is prepared to be a transition manager across all levels of the agroforestry value chain. Agroforestry transition managers have the competences, skills and knowledge to understand (inter)national value chain mechanisms and facilitate the process towards People, Planet, Profit sustainability in the value chain following concrete market demands with fair and sustainable principles. They are competent in addressing issues with an integrated approach and have exceptional stakeholder management skills. They have thus a strong ability to manage, facilitate and innovate within the agroforestry value chains.
The Agroforestry Chains specialisation is part of FARM LIFE, a project subsidised by the European Union. The ambition of FARM LIFE is to make a tangible contribution to a climate-proof Europe. We take the challenge to facilitate the transition from a landscape with conventional monoculture systems to a resilient landscape with diversified agricultural production systems, such as agroforestry.