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Agroforestry (AF) is a type of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions.
Based on the economic and environmental relevance of this activity, a consortium of 13 partners from 9 European countries, launch AFINET (AgroForestry Innovation NETworks), a thematic network aimed to foster the exchange and the knowledge transfer between scientists and practitioners in the agroforestry. AFINET will act at EU level in order to take up research results into practice and to promote innovative ideas to face challenges and resolve problems of practitioners. To achieve this objective AFINET proposes an innovative methodology based on:
(i) The creation of a European Interregional network, composed of “Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks (RAINs)”, working groups created in 9 strategic regions of Europe (Spain, UK, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Poland, France and Finland), interconnected and articulated through the figure of the “Innovation Broker”. RAINs represent different climatic, geographical, social and cultural conditions and they include a balanced representation of the key actors with complementary type of knowledge: farmers, policy makers, advisory services, extension services, etc.
(ii) The creation of an European reservoir of scientific and practical knowledge of AF with an end-user friendly access (the “Knowledge Cloud”), where all the information collected and the materials created in the project will be published.