A graduate of agroforestry is prepared to undertake activities in the field of agricultural production, forest management, management of agricultural land covered by secondary succession, cultivation of crops on low valuation soils, planning, making, and maintaining plantings on agricultural, post-agricultural, and forest land, obtaining biomass for energy purposes. , the nursery of woody plants, integrated management of agricultural and forestry production, as well as obtaining additional sources of income from non-agricultural activities. He also has knowledge about innovative solutions in technological processes, mechanization of works, and logistics as well as the basics of management, administration, marketing, and economics in the field of agriculture and forestry, agritourism, and the functioning of local government units. A graduate of agroforestry studies is a specialist combining knowledge and skills in the field of agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, economics, and management, necessary to work in companies operating in the field of agricultural and forestry production, state and local administration bodies, and organizations related to the protection and shaping of the environment, consultancy in the field of innovation in the agroforestry sector, scientific and research institutions, as well as running your own business.

 Agroforestry is a new field of study that responds to the European Union market demand for specialists in the field of innovative solutions in agriculture and forestry, necessary in the era of the observed climate changes. Agroforestry is a sustainable way of using land, which uses the knowledge of agriculture and forestry in order to optimize the economic and ecological effects of food production with the simultaneous production of wood biomass. The main production advantages of agroforestry systems are related to the better use of resources on a spatial and temporal scale, which at the same time can increase environmental benefits by reducing nutrient losses from agricultural land, increasing carbon sequestration, and increasing biodiversity.

The Polish Council of Ministers adopted a resolution on the adoption of the draft Strategic Plan for the Common Agricultural Policy for 2023–2027, submitted by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. The resolution will enable the commencement of negotiations with the European Commission on the draft Strategic Plan for the Common Agricultural Policy for the years 2023–2027. This document will be the basis for Poland's application for funding from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The support will be targeted at a wide group of recipients (mainly farmers, but also entrepreneurs and local government units), and will provide potential beneficiaries with equal access to aid. The budget of the Strategic Plan is over EUR 25 billion. In the First Pillar, agroforestry and mixed production will be supported by Ecoschemes: "Maintenance of mid-field shelterbelts" and "Maintenance of agroforestry systems". At the same time, animal production will be supported in the case of cattle, sheep, and goats, extensive use of pastures, and beekeeping production. In the Second Pillar, support will cover "Preservation of orchards of traditional fruit trees" and "Afforestation and care bonuses". The draft strategic plan has been submitted to the European Commission and is under evaluation.

Individual trees and mid-field treestands are indispensable to us in the rural landscape. According to various studies, while maintaining a microclimate favorable to agriculture, tree cover increases the yield of arable crops by 10-20% and more. They inhibit the force of the wind drying the soil and blowing its particles away. They stimulate precipitation and cool the air. They provide shelter to insects pollinating crops and birds that feed on insects that feed on crops, they are a good thing for bees. They reduce the runoff of nutrients from the fields and are the basis for activities within agroforestry. By co-creating the traditional Polish landscape, they strengthen the tourist attractiveness of the regions, thus favoring the increase and diversification of the income of the rural population.
Meanwhile, we are witnessing a dramatic loss of trees in the Polish countryside. Can we reverse this process? Urgent solutions are needed. Increasingly serious effects of climate change (droughts, torrential rains, dust storms) require the strengthening of the stability of agricultural landscapes. Tree stands are the basis for the good functioning of the landscape, especially in areas with intensive agriculture.

Current VAT tax regulations with particular emphasis on the functioning of the electronic list of VAT taxpayers - the so-called "White list" of taxpayers, the split payment mechanism, the elimination of the obligation to submit separate tax returns in the field of VAT were the main topics of the first part of the conference, which took place on December 5, 2019, at the LODR in Końskowola. The second part of the conference focused on a completely different topic, but also an interesting one, namely agroforestry and tree cover in Poland and the possibility of supporting tree cover in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy 2021-2027. The results of research that can be applied in agricultural practice were presented, as well as innovative ideas for the use of trees in agricultural production to achieve economic, environmental, and social benefits. The research carried out under the AFINET project shows that agroforestry practices may have a beneficial effect on the environment and the yield of crops, positively affect the microclimate of the field, and limit the evaporation of water from agricultural crops. Introducing appropriate species of trees and shrubs in the field is a natural method of pest control, thus limiting the use of pesticides. Trees also increase the accumulation of carbon in the soil.

The event was organized by the HORB Foundation. The presentation included an introduction to regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, in particular sylvopastoralism and related new instruments of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2023 with a special focus on support for Permanent Grasslands.  Participants were local farmers interested in implementing agroforestry and other regenerative farming practices.

 

Trees and field margins on arable land provide a great deal of plant and animal biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. However, in order to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of such landscape elements on arable land, care must be taken to ensure their good and rational design. The document separetly approaches the establishment of field margins and various forms of agroforstry to best suit local conditions and needs.

 

What is the situation of Poland in terms of water resources and water demand? Which water management practices are increasing the hydrological crisis and which are effective forms of fighting drought? What changes to agriculture, urban planning and household operations are necessary to prevent drought? One of the answers is agroforestry.

In November and December 2021, a series of open training courses for farmers from the Małopolska region (Southern Poland) took place. The trainings were conducted by Marcin Wójcik, an innovative farmer and educator. The training program consisted of lectures:

Introduction to the issue of water management on a farm (November 22, 2021),

Agro-forestry and tree cover (November 25, 2021),

Protection of soil and crops (November 29, 2021),

Humus as the source of life (December 02, 2021)

Intensive rotational grazing (December 06, 2021).

On December 3, 2021, a scientific seminar on selected aspects of agroforestry took place at the Lublin Agricultural Advisory Center in Końskowola in Eastern Poland. Lecture: "Agricultural and forestry practices in plant production" was presented by Robert Borek from IUNG-PIB, president of OSA. Marcin Wójcik from the OIKOS farm  present "Silvo-pastoral systems in cattle breeding". Łukasz Nowacki, president of the Transformacja Foundation, will present "Functions of trees in rural areas and the production potential of integrated agroforestry systems on the example of the permaculture farm Dolina Mgieł". The participants of the conference will be mainly agricultural advisors, farmers as well as scientists and representatives of NGOs, including members OSA.

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COORDINATOR
Dr. Sara Burbi - Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience - Coventry University, Ryton Gardens Campus, CV8 LG, UK
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