PUR Hexagone is a program aiming at planting trees and shrubs in parts of France, in close partnership with farmers and land owners willing to improve their crops systems through agroforestry. This program aims at supporting:
- Soils fertility improvement
- Crop protection
- Crop diversification
- Sustainable livestock
“I’m not an operator. I don’t take land without a return. I don’t take all the resources out of my land and then, once it’s degraded, go somewhere else. That’s what agroforestry is all about, and we’re going to measure its impact“. – Remi Seingier
Trees lost their importance in agricultural systems in the 1960s and 1980s due to intensive restructuring. While agroforestry is now recognized as a 100% agricultural practice, this was not the case about 10 years ago.
It was only in May 2010 that regulatory measures were taken to encourage the planting of trees in crops. Since then, agroforestry practices have developed a lot in France. It shows a growing interest from farmers, whether conventional or organic. They are interested in the economic aspect (value of wood, biomass), but also in the issues of biodiversity and soil fertility (auxiliaries, organic matter…).
- PUR Hexagone – Loire Garonne is located on a very diversified territory, between the Atlantic coast and the Massif Central. Livestock and crops are found side by side, as well as large wine-growing areas, each with their own challenges. Livestock farming is strongly impacted by low world prices and climate change with droughts that increase the cost of fodder and reduce the food autonomy of farms. Field crops are also impacted by successive droughts and share with viticulture the challenge of reducing the use of phytosanitary products for environmental and health reasons.
- PUR Hexagone – Nord is located in a very large area including the Hauts de France, Ile de France and Champagne-Ardennes. Agriculture in this area is characterized by large plains with little woodland, where the main agricultural productions are cereal and industrial crops. In this area, the intensification of practices has often led to a significant decrease in biodiversity and an increase in agricultural soil erosion.
- In the Mediterranean, profound changes have taken place in farm activities. The regression of pastoral breeding (sheep, goats, etc.) has led to the scrubland being overgrown, which favours the development of fires. The overproduction of wine led to a massive plan to grub up vines at the end of the 20th century and foreign competition led to a drastic reduction in the surface area of fruit trees as well as peaches. Cereals are more and more difficult to produce with the increase in temperatures and the strain on the use of water.
The integration of trees in production systems has several aims: protecting plots against the excesses of phytosanitary treatments in the area, developing functional and wildlife biodiversity in farming, increasing the profitability of agricultural land, protecting animals, crops and equipment, controlling water, conserving soils, controlling micro-climates, enhancing landscapes, diversifying income (fruit trees), etc. All these benefits achieve maximum productivity while remaining fully aware of the environmental stakes.
- PUR Hexagone – Loire Garonne aims to promote the development of agroforestry and soil regenerative farming practices to meet the specific challenges of this region: reducing dependence on chemical inputs, regeneration of ecosystems and resilience to climate change.
- Le programme PUR Hexagone – Nord supports farmers who wish to change their practices in favour of soil protection, the adaptation of their territory to climate change, and the preservation of biodiversity within this territory where the expansion of cities is reducing the gap between producers and consumers on a daily basis.
- PUR Hexagone – Méditerranée focuses on one of the regions that is likely to suffer most from climate change in France, with issues related to access to water and the protection of crops and animals against extreme climatic events (droughts, heat waves, fires, violent storms, etc.). Agroforestry and regenerative agriculture are practices that consist in the establishment of plant coverings that have the capacity to protect crops and soil life by protecting them from heat and sunlight, and by creating organic matter, which can feed the soil and plants.
Plantation projects are led by farmers themselves. Their commitment in such initiative contributes to an agriculture revolution, to carbon offsetting and to the creation of sustainable landscapes for the future generations.
Agroforestry and reforestation
Participants461 Farmers and landowners, associations, local communities
Achievements328,697 planted trees
supply chainBeef , Cereals , Dairy , Fruits and Vegetables , Poultry , Water
- Frêne commun, Fraxinus excelsior
- Chêne pédonculé, Quercus Robur
- Merisier, Prunus Avium
- Aulne glutineux, Alnus glutinosa
- Erable champêtre, Acer campestris
- Charme commun, Carpinus betulus
- Noisetier, Corylus Avellana
- Chêne vert, Quecus ilex
- Arbousier, Arbutus unedo
- Grenadier, Ficus carica
- Aulne de Corse, Alnus cordata
- Frêne à fleurs, Fraxinus ornus
- Frêne oxyphille, Fraxinus angustifolia
- Micocoulier, Celtis australis
- Figuiers, Ficus carica
- Fusain d’Europe, Euonymus europaeus
- Pistachier vrai, Pisticia vera
- Pistachier lentisque, Pistacia lentiscus