Stakeholder Workshop at Hof Lebensberg – Meeting with experts to understand the current state of agroforestry in Germany
On January 27, 2024, the HortiBonn agroforestry team conducted a stakeholder workshop at the agroforestry system in Hof Lebensberg in Rhineland-Pfalz as part of the ReForest project. The project is a Horizon Europe funded project aimed at fostering innovation, supporting knowledge exchange, and providing novel solutions to empower farmers in Europe and associated countries to deliver multiple objectives: food production, carbon capture, and biodiversity. Over 20 stakeholders from various backgrounds spanning researchers, practitioners, consultants and government officials had a lively discussion about the current state of agroforestry systems in Germany. The workshop was led and facilitated by Prof. Dr. Eike Luedeling with support from Dr. Prajna Kasargodu Anebagilu, Andrew Marcil, and Dr. Marcos Jiménez Martínez. Throughout the day we gathered a wide variety of opinions on the motivations, barriers and concerns of adopting agroforestry as well as potential pathways for creating a more enabling environment. Janine Raabe from the Hof Lebensberg farm toured the participants around their agroforestry system to help the participants see how it works in action. The tour took us through the two experimental agroforestry systems based on alley cropping, with one utilizing nut trees and the other fruit trees. Lastly the participants gave meaningful feedback on the holistic graphical conceptual model of agroforestry that we developed for the ReForest project to encapsulate their broad knowledge base to further refine our model. The day was filled with very engaging discussions from different points of view and was invaluable towards broadening our understanding of agroforestry here in Germany. Many thanks to all the people who gave their time to join us on the packed Saturday to share their thoughts, experiences, and expertise! Your contributions are greatly appreciated.