Integrating Agroforestry as a measure for improved flood mitigation, reduced nutrient pollution and erosion prevention in landscape projects

Benefits of agroforestry on regional scale

Agroforestry is an important measure to lower budget requirements for regional flood mitigation, nutrient runoff reduction and erosion control. At the same time it can increase agricultural productivity, profit for farmers, sequester carbon in land-sinks and create rural jobs.

Improved flood management

There is a huge potential to improve flood risk mitigation by implementing agroforestry that can act as a buffer through increased water storage capacity in fields with agriculture. 

Agroforestry systems slow down heavy rainfall and infiltrate it into the soil and by designing the systems with the proper species, layout and row orientation, the mitigation effects on extreme weather events can be even further increased.

Reduced nutrient runoff and soil erosion

Trees in agroforestry systems improve soil stability, limit soil crusting, increase ground litter and water infiltration. These processes prevent soil erosion and reduce runoff water that can otherwise carry nutrients and sediment from agricultural production into nearby bodies of water. By implementing agroforestry in farmland in strategically designed layouts and orientations, agroforestry can become a key component in conservation measures. 

Increased profits and resilience for farmers

Research show that over a 10 year period the overall productivity for an agroforestry system is 30% higher compared to a monoculture system. This concept is called overyield, where the same land can actually produce more, because natural resources like water, light and nutrients are utilized better in the system. So for farmers and land-owners there is an economic incentive to adopt agroforestry in addition to the ecological and social benefits it brings to the landscape.

Reduced cost compared to other measures

Compared to other measures for flood management, reduced nutrient leaching and erosion, agroforestry can often be implemented at a reduced cost. The most noticeable reason for this is that agroforestry in itself can be profitable for farmers and as such establishment of the physical agroforestry system and financing of this can be done on regular market terms. Compared to the establishment of large rainwater basins or other measures to improve flood management, reduce erosion and nutrient leaching, agroforestry can be established at a fraction of the price for regional planners, municipalities and communities.

Our solutions for regional water managers, hydrologists and environmental planners

Regen Farmer as a vertical agroforestry expert and technology provider combines our knowledge of best practice agroforestry adoption strategies, technical expertise on agroforestry and scalable technology into one coherent solution for regional water management planners and hydrologists. Our technology and vertical solution makes it easy for regional planners to assess effects of agroforestry implementation scenarios and integrate it into their existing workflow for fast delivery on projects. 
Autogenerated agroforestry system layout on arable field.

Flexible and scalable agroforestry implementation scenario modelling

With our parametric models we can model agroforestry systems on a given field almost instantly. Applying this to 10, 100 or even 1000 of fields, it is possible to model agroforestry systems on a landscape scale. This can be used to assess different agroforestry implementation scenarios and evaluate their effect on flood manage, erosion prevention, nutrient flows and carbon sequestration. We help with:

  • Realistic agroforestry system adoption scenarios based on existing land-use type, land ownership type, practices used by farmers, soil type, topography, hydrology and climate – All based on GIS data inputs and expert scenario modelling.
  • High resolution (Down to individual trees) GIS-based agroforestry system layouts based on land-use that can be integrated with hydraulic modelling and other GIS-based analyses.

Integration with hydraulic modelling for flood and nutrient analysis

Our parametric models makes it easy for water management planners and hydrology modelers to integrate agroforestry scenarios into their existing GIS workflow so they can deliver on client projects. This can be used to assess specific effects of implementation scenarios on everything from individual fields to watershed scale. Effects can include:

  • Infiltration rates and flow analysis
  • Nutrient flow analysis
  • Erosion and sediment flows
watershed flow length gis analysis

Policy instruments and implementation strategies

Compared to projects that work with publicly owner land, the use of agroforestry as a measure on privately owned land requires understanding and strategies that are founded on actual adoption experience. We know what works when it comes to ensuring agroforestry adoption amongst farmers and land-owners. With this expertise help to navigate existing legislation, develop new instruments and establish solid agroforestry implementation strategies as an integrated part of regional project deliveries. We specifically help with:

  • Assessment of instruments to encourage agroforestry adoption to achieve favorable agroforestry implementation such as conservation grants, farmer technical or financial support, agroforestry product market development, farmer outreach, land-owner incentives, agroforestry project development etc.
  • Implementation strategies for policy makers and planners with a clear roadmap so everyone knows how and when to do what to get actual trees in the ground.
  • Financial cost estimates of savings in projects compared to other conservation measure as well as cost/savings estimates of implementing specific instruments and policies.

Agroforestry project development and establishment

Regen Farmer provides full turn key solutions for agroforestry project development and implementation. Our growing network of accredited partners using our digital tools and platform ensures that local agroforestry experts and service providers can deliver on agroforestry projects on the ground. Simply put we make sure that the right trees are placed at the right location in collaboration with farmers, service providers, regional planners, communities and other stakeholders. 

Work with agroforestry as an integrated part of your water management strategies

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