Research Institute for Organic Agriculture, Frick

Can agroforestry be economic? The analysis of a farm with longtime experience

In agriculture there is an increasing area of conflict between ecological and economical demands. An innovative approach that can fulfill requirements in a sustainable husbandry as well as in a competitive production is the agroforestry. On the basis of a case study conducted in Germany, we analysed how the profitability of an agroforestry system can be calculated in practice. Due to a farm analysis with implemented calculation software “Paracalc” from Agridea following conclusions were extracted: Agroforestry system has an interesting potential. A reason for this is the internal diversification of the agroforestry system which results in economical as well as ecological advantages. In order to avoid the danger of a financial overloading, a specific planning of cultivation and finances are obligatory. The calculation of the profitability must also consider risk divisions as an investment, yield insecurity due to lack of experience, and, price uncertainty as an effect of the longevity of agroforestry systems. The software “Paracalc” turned out to be a useful tool in calculating profitability for agrofrestry systems.

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