Nurturing agroforestry systems in temperate regions: an analysis of discourses for an enabling environment in Flanders, Belgium

Lieve Borremans, Erwin Wauters, Marjolein Visser

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    In Flanders, the northern region of Belgium, agroforestry systems are increasingly recognized as a multi-functional land use that can balance the production of commodities with non-material outputs such as environmental protection and landscape amenities. Yet, the uptake of agroforestry among farmers remains relatively low despite policy incentives such as a subsidy program covering 80% of the establishment costs. To study this implementation gap, transition literature was consulted which states that the transition from conventional to more diversified farming systems depends on a fundamental change in not only the structures and practices, but also the cultures of a societal system. Whereas actors and stakeholders may hold a wide range of viewpoints regarding agroforestry (e.g. the form, the feasibility and the desirability), policy initiatives typically only address one form of agroforestry. This could be a reason that current incentive programs are not very effective. Therefore in this paper we focus on cultures of a societal system, and describe a study design using Q-methodology to examine the different narratives and discourses on agroforestry in Flanders. Furthermore, general discourses and narratives on agriculture and agricultural policy are related to the identified perspectives on agroforestry. This is important since different general discourses on agriculture will create different meanings and interpretations of agroforestry and this can help identify an enabling environment for agroforestry in terms of research, policy, market and economic conditions.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    Aantal pagina’s10
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - jul.-2016
    Evenement12th European International Farming Systems Association Symposium: Social and technological transformation of farming systems: Diverging and converging pathways - Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire, Verenigd Koninkrijk
    Duur: 12-jul.-201615-jul.-2016


    Symposium12th European International Farming Systems Association Symposium
    Verkorte titel12th European IFSA symposium
    Land/RegioVerenigd Koninkrijk
    StadNewport, Shropshire
    Internet adres


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