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Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde


‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚ÄčCollagePhotos: ICRAF

Food security and livelihood improvement through agroforestry in Central Asia (BMBF, 2017-2019)

Agroforestry systems have great potential to increase food security and add additional income to rural communities, while reducing soil erosion and other land degradation. This applies also for the three partner countries of this project ‚Äď Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Apart from these general insights, however, there is a lack of knowledge of the manifold agroforestry systems in this particular region; of the extent to which they can contribute to livelihood improvement and food security; and of the opportunities and challenges of their wider adoption. Against this background, the research project has five main objectives:

  1. Compile current knowledge about the major agroforestry systems of Central Asia, which includes their development, positive and negative effects on yields, income, and resilience;
  2. Investigate the products, their yields, value chains, and current as well as potential income from the main agroforestry tree species;
  3. Explore potential local and regional value chains based on wood and other products from those agroforestry systems;
  4. Investigate yields and income from major crops and livestock from inside versus outside of agroforestry systems;
  5. Investigate the perspective of land users on agroforestry.


The two-year project is jointly carried out by Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) with its regional office in Bishkek, in cooperation with various research institutions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The project brings together knowledge and experiences from the three Central Asian countries to gain deeper knowledge on how agroforestry can contribute to the sustainable improvement of livelihoods and food security in an ecologically fragile region.


Dr. Michael Spies (Project coordinator):

Dr. Niels Thevs (Coordinator ICRAF central Asia programme):

Prof. Dr. Martin Welp (Chair of Socioeconomics & Communication, HNEE):