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Ministry of Agriculture



Agroforestry is a land management approach that purposefully integrates the growing of trees with crops or livestock.


Integration can involve:

deliberately retaining or adding trees or shrubs into agriculture production systems
deliberately adding or enhancing crops
or livestock in forest production systems


Agroforestry Systems are:

They are specifically designed and managed for a planned result. Objectives are to enhance overall production of both the crop/livestock and timber-based products while simultaneously providing environmental and social benefits.

Systems are a blend of agriculture, forestry and conservation. Tree, crop and/or animal components are combined in a single management unit targeting overall production, thus the enterprise is managed and evaluated as a single system rather than as separate parts.

Management intensity will vary depending on the system design and planned results.

Systems are designed to minimize negative and maximize positive interactions between trees, other crops, livestock and humans.


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   Five main agroforestry systems are practical for use in B.C.



Factsheet - Silvopasture


The intentionally integrated system known as silvopasture, can diversify revenue, enhance environmental benefits, and boost aesthetics of agricultural or forestry operations. Silvopasture blends management of trees, forages, and livestock.



Factsjeet -Windbreaks/ Shelterbelts/Timerbelts/BuffersWindbreaks/Shelterbelts/Timberbelts/Buffers

These are designed to perform specific jobs. Site conditions and desired function affect design and application, and help to determine the key features of the planting.


Alley Cropping

Alley cropping is an agroforestry system broadly defined as the planting of single or multiple rows of trees and/or shrubs at wide spacings to create alley-ways within which crops are cultivated. Both the crops and trees, or their products, can be harvested. Trees or shrubs are spaced to provide high light levels to the crops between them. This system suits crops that require full sun to mature and become marketable. An alley cropping example might consist of rows of trees for wood or other tree products (eg. nuts or fruit), grown in conjunction with horticultural crops (e.g. vegetables) or field crops.


Forest Farming

Forest farming is an agroforestry system broadly defined as the integrated management of both timber and understory crops; it focuses on managing a stand to benefit both the trees and the understory (plants growing under the tree canopy). It is the practice of intentionally managing site resources (e.g. light levels), and growth stages of the tree and understory plants for production, environmental and social values.



Integrated Riparian Management


Integrated riparian management is an agroforesty system broadly defined as the integrated management of areas adjacent to aquatic zones to enhance or protect habitat and selectively provide for other resources and values.


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Current Items:

Agroforestry Industry Development Initiative

2009 - 2013

A new agroforestry industry strategic plan (2009 -2013) has been developed with funding from BCIAF, using information and input from the previous initiative, surveys, and focus group sessions. The resulting plan reflects the diverse nature of the industry and it's participants.


2003 - 2008
The Initiative was supported through the BC Investment Agriculture Foundation (BCIAF), in coordination with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (BCMAL), Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) and the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (FBCWA). During the Initiavie term it supported:

  • Ten on-the-ground agroforestry demonstration projects.
  • Industry development activities.
  • Twelve technical transfer projects in the form of workshops, technical documents and extension materials.



Agroforestry: A Profitable Land Use12th North American Agroforestry Conference

Agroforestry: A Profitable Land Use

The 12th North American Agroforestry Conference, Agroforestry: A Profitable Land Use, will be held June 4-8, 2011 with the Association of Temperate Agroforesty (AFTA). The conference is hosted by the University of Georgia.



BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

Dave Trotter
Lisa Zabek
Phone: (604) 556-3148
Phone: (250) 371-6056