Czech agriculture is dealing with the consequences of climate change. Agroforestry cultures are being discursively reintroduced for better adaptability and resilience, with the first practical explorations seen in the field. Scholars have been working with farmers and regional stakeholders to establish a baseline for making agroforestry policy viable and sustainable. In a research effort that lasted three years, a large group of Czech farmers was interviewed via questionnaire surveys, standardized focus groups and in-depth personal interviews regarding their knowledge of agroforestry systems, their willingness to participate in these systems, and their concerns and expectations therewith. The information obtained helped the researchers gain better understanding of issues related to implementation of these systems. It was found that although trees are present on Czech farms and farmers appreciate their aesthetic and ecological landscape functions, knowledge about possible local synergies with crops and animals is lacking. This local knowledge gap, together with lack of market opportunities for the output of agroforestry systems and undeveloped administrative processes, have been identified as the greatest obstacles to the establishment of agroforestry systems. The researchers argue that the discovered cognitive and technological “lock-in” of the farmers may represent a risk to climate change adaptability and resilience. For the development of complex and localised land use (e.g., agroforestry) in such a context, the researchers suggest participative on-farm research, which would broaden the local knowledge base related to ecology and entrepreneurship.
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