Members of farming and forestry organisations have teamed up in a letter to prompt Defra Secretary Michael Gove to formally recognise agroforestry as a mainstream practice.
The letter blamed a ‘perceived lack of demand’ from farmers and landowners to adopt the practice and called for better support from Government to remove obstacles and boost incentives.
Tom Macmillan, Soil Association innovation director, said its recent agroforestry conference boosted the industry’s call as attendees realised a well-managed agroforestry system would likely increase land productivity by up to 40 per cent.
He said: “Our understanding of its potential for farm businesses, tackling climate change and supporting our soils is growing all the time and early adopters already show inspiring examples of how to make it work.
“On a large scale, this could be game-changing. But to exploit it fully and remove some of the barriers farmers identified requires strategic support from Government.”
CLA policy director Christopher Price echoed the call and said the benefits of agroforestry would only be seen if the right regulatory and policy frameworks were put in place.