Funded by BMBF • 2022-2025

Promoting sustainable land management through product, process and SME development in NTFP and agroforestry value chains of Central Asia

Landscapes in Central Asia face considerable degradation pressure. Population growth, economic development and the transformation of traditional lifestyles are expected to further increase pressures on local environmental resources jeopardizing local livelihoods. While the integration of trees into agricultural landscapes in agroforestry systems is associated with significant environmental and social benefits, such production systems are still not widely adopted in the region. Given that the profitability of various agroforestry systems and tree plantations involving walnut, almond and/or apple trees in combination with hay making or agricultural crops has been demonstrated, the limited adoption of agroforestry systems by local farmers has mostly been attributed to a lack of technologies; land tenure insecurity, a lack of knowledge among farmers and local researchers, as well as poorly developed markets and processing industries.

Against this background, the project aims to contribute to the sustainable management of agricultural and forest landscapes in Central Asia. The focus is on the design and analysis of agroforestry and plantation systems, development of more efficient food processing technologies and higher quality food products, the improvement of marketing channels through supply chain transparency, strengthening of producer organizations and certification, and increasing of local value creation through valorisation of selected ecosystem services.

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