The SAFE Project > Objectives
Silvoarable agroforestry comprises widely-spaced trees intercropped with arable crops. This project builds on recent findings that indicate that modern silvoarable production systems are very efficient in terms of resource use, and could introduce an innovative agricultural production system that will be both environment-friendly and economically profitable. Growing high quality trees in association with arable crops in European fields may improve the sustainability of farming systems, diversify farmers incomes, provide new products to the wood industry, and create novel landscapes of high value. In support of the European Common Agricultural Policy, the SAFE project will provide models and databases for assessing the profitability of silvoarable systems, and will suggest unified European policy guidelines for implementing agroforestry.
Our goals are to
The first main objective of the project is to reduce the uncertainties concerning the validity of silvoarable systems. Data from both traditional silvoarable systems and recent silvoarable experiments will be collated in a modelling framework that will be used to predict the outcomes of silvoarable management scenarios at the plot scale. This objective implies two technological and scientific tasks:
The second main objective is to extrapolate plot-scale results to individual farms or sub-regions, and to provide a unified framework to assess the impact of agricultural prices and EU regulations on the likely uptake of agroforestry. This second main objective implies three tasks:
To meet these expectations, the SAFE project will develop biophysical and socio-economic tools to inform farmers and policy-makers of the potential for silvoarable agroforestry to contribute to the integrated and sustainable development of European rural areas. The final target is a coherent 'Agroforestry Policy Options' document which can be used by the EU to frame header and interpretative regulations, and by Member States or Autonomous Regions to assess the effect of forestry or agricultural grants on the uptake of agroforestry in the context of best European practice.
A special 'agroforestry status' will be designed for the countries where tax policy and grant availability is dictated by land-use classes. Policies for agriculture and forestry grants should recognise that both silvoarable and silvopastoral systems are 'legal' forms of land-use which should be permitted to be on a 'level playing-field' with conventional agriculture or forestry. This agroforestry status will be designed to avoid any undue accumulation of European grants by landowners or farmers.
For more details about SAFE project, clic here to download the technical annexe (PDF format).