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Agriculture: Forests

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL15131, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Woodland Trust State of the UK's Woods and Trees 2021, published on 14 April, what plans they have to promote agroforestry, particularly the growing of fruit and nut crops; what assessment they have made of the impact of such promotion on (1) the level of food security, (2) the quality of diets, (3) fodder crops for animals, (4) the diversion to animals of food that could be eaten by humans, and (5) the use of anthelmintics.

Answered on

29 April 2021

Agroforestry has a significant role in helping the Government commitment to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025, in line with the annual rate recommended by the Committee on Climate Change in 2019 to help us meet net zero. We know our mechanisms for woodland creation must be more wide reaching and bold. This requires a transformative change for government and the sector. That is why the Nature for Climate Fund announced in the March 2020 Budget provides significant funding for tree planting, including agroforestry systems. The Committee on Climate Change has also recommended agroforestry on 10% of arable and grassland by 2050 to contribute to net zero emissions targets.

We know that agroforestry systems can play an important role in addressing some of the key issues of climate and land use change in England, through the wide range of ecosystem services it provides.

  • Providing food, fuel, fodder, timber, shade
  • Regulating soil, water, air quality and sequester carbon
  • Improving animal health and welfare
  • Supporting biodiversity and habitat creation