Integrated Nature-Inclusive Circular Farming: agroforestry as a business model

1 mei 2018
30 september 2018
KIEM Agri & Food

In the Netherlands, the theme of transitioning to circular food systems is high on the national agenda. The PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has stressed that commuting to circular food chains requires a radical transformation of the food chain where (a) natural resources must be effectively used and managed (soil, water, biodiversity, minerals), (b) there must be an optimum use of food by reducing (food) waste . . ., (c) less environmental pressure, and (d) an optimum use of residue streams. The PBL also recognizes that there should be room for tailored solutions and that it is important to establish a benchmark, to be aware of impacts in the production chain and the added value of products. In the line of circular food systems, an integrated nature-inclusive circular farming approach is needed in order to develop a feasible resource-efficient and sustainable business models that brings shared value into the food chain while invigorating the rural areas including those where agricultural vacancy is occurring.

Agroforestry is an example of an integrated nature-inclusive circular farming. It is a multifunctional system that diversifies and adapts the production while reducing the carbon footprint and minimizing the management efforts and input costs; where trees, crops and/or livestock open business opportunities in the food value chains as well as in the waste stream chains. To exploit the opportunities that agroforestry as an integrated resource-efficient farming system adds to the advancement towards (a) valuable circular short food chains, (b) nature-based entrepreneurship (nature-inclusive agriculture), and (c) and additionally, the re-use of abandoned agricultural spaces in the Overijssel province, this project mobilizes the private sector, provincial decision makers, financers and knowledge institutes into developing insights over the feasible implementation of agroforestry systems that can bring economic profit while enhancing and maintaining ecosystem services.


Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences

Albertien Kijne

Euridice Leyequien Abarca

Netwerk- en projectleden

  • Country Winery DAC
  • De Vier Elementen, adviesbureau voor duurzame energie
  • Landgoed Vilsteren B.V.
  • Proefkamer Het Reestdal