Agro-silvo-pastoralism is a production activity that combines pastoralism (extensive livestock husbandry on pastures) and agriculture in a partially wooded environment. This activity closely combines these three modes of land use, and might even articulate them on a single site.
Agro-silvo-pastoralism is a production activity that encompasses different environments through grazing: cultivated areas and rangelands, be they wooded or not (heath, coppice, lawn, forest etc.). In some cases, agro-silvo-pastoralism can be included in the definition of agroforestry. In these systems, different land covers are present: tree, shrub and grass. This environment diversity helps to mitigate climatic hazards by offering a variety of resources for feeding as well as protecting animals against wind and rainfalls while reducing sunlight. This diversity is therefore a major asset for pastoralism. In Western economies, agro-silvo-pastoralism contributes to the development of areas that would otherwise be abandoned by agriculture (forests, mountain regions, arid Mediterranean areas …). This type of agricultural system is very present worldwide, in particular in environments under harsh conditions: relief (slope, access), water scarcity, strong sunlight, low soil quality (depth, fertility) …
Agro-silvo-pastoralism has always been present in France. With the modernization of agriculture (mechanization, agrochemistry), these systems have had a striking decline, but in the context of an emerging agroecological transition, they have generated an ongoing interest. Agro-silvo-pastoralism can ensure biogeochemical flows in cultivated environments and improve the performance of agricultural systems in an agroecological perspective.
Agro-silvo-pastoralism is a lever for the agroecological transition and the dynamism of rural territories.