Topic: Agroforestry Development: Barriers to Planting Trees in the Czech Agricultural Landscape
Czech landscapes show little cultural variation with monoclonal crop fields. Similarly to rest of the European Countries, Czech farms produce large quantities of yields together with large quantity of negative environmental impacts. Agroforestry is promoted, f.i. by European Commission, as an environmentally sound farming practice which can address current problems of our landscape (especially the drought and the soil erosion). According to experts the agroforestry can augment soil water availability to land use systems, control runoff and soil erosion, keep soil fertility, lead to reduced insect pests and associated diseases, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a more diverse farm economy and stimulate the whole rural economy, leading to stable farms and ecosystems. Agroforestry can be seen as agroecological innovation as well as a return to tradition of the planting of trees in fields, however, trees in the Czech agricultural landscape are rare and farmers have not found their way to agro-forestry yet. An objective of this study was to investigate why Czech farmers do not plant trees in agricultural landscape. Using focus-group methodology we identify some barriers to planting trees which lay in injustice legislation, property-law relations, technology, inadequate subsidy policy, stereotypes, perception of rurality and farmers’ identity and mainly low level of ecological knowledge.