The development of agroforestry systems in Flanders. A farming systems approach to social, institutional and economic inquiry.

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    The research questions are: (1) why is it that, despite all of the opportunities to do agroforestry in Flanders, adoption remains low? (2) which social, institutional and economic requirements are necessary as incentives that can lead to more widespread adoption of agroforestry in Flanders? and (3) which market-based or organized governance models can foster agroforestry adoption? The opportunities that agroforestry offers are increasingly recognized by policymakers, consultants, researchers and educators. Nevertheless, despite a recent subsidy program, the interest of farmers in agroforestry remains low. The goal of this project is to investigate the reasons behind this implementation gap.

    Research approach
    Using mainly qualitative research methodologies such as interviews, focus groups and document analysis, we map the role of the farmer and determine the impact of context on the adoption of agroforestry systems. The context can be divided in three categories: (1) structures: the legal, formal and economic aspects that can provide incentives to adopt certain practices and may hinder adoption of others, (2) cultures: the discourses and sets of social practices and social rules; and (3) practices: the actual routines, habits and procedures of the actors.

    The strategic goal of the larger Flanders-funded project on agroforestry (of which this doctoral research is only one part) is the breakthrough in a relatively short term of viable, profitable and effective agroforestry systems in Flanders. This study can facilitate such a breakthrough by determining which incentives will make it easier and more enciting for farmers to start using agroforestry systems.
    Effective start/end date1/09/1431/08/18