Agroforestry Education in Europe
During the 20th century agroforestry has experienced a strong abandonment, counting today only a few million hectares in all Europe. Following scientific research, development structures and experiments of professionals, agroforestry has met national and European recognition in recent years again. In some European countries namely Belgium, France and UK professional organizations and training actors try to reintroduce agroforestry by training of adults. There were some experimental courses conducted in these countries recently, but just on a small scale since resources such as trainers and skills and knowledge available are still scarce.
In the AgroFE project partner countries there is a need for conversion and development of about 15 000 to 20 000 farms in the next 5 – 7 years, which means training of the same number of operation managers. To achieve these goals more advisors and trainers in agroforestry is needed.
The AgroFE project builds on scientific research, agroforestry experiments and professional practice and training and innovative teaching resources. Two types of actors in agroforestry (target groups) that need to be educated and trained have been identified: farmers and future farmers, students and adults on one hand and advisors/tutors on the other hand. These groups correspond to three levels of education of the European Qualification Framework – L4, L5, L6.