LPLK10287U Agroforestry

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme in Global Environment and Development


Agroforestry framework, terminology and history

Crops and trees interaction with microclimate and water, including trees' role in mitigating wind mechanical wind impact and fire

The role of trees and crops in nutrient cycling and the effect on physical soil parameters, in particular mitigating soil erosion 

Agroforestry systems and practices and their technical operation

Agroforestry species (crops, trees, animals), roles and functions of different components and criteria for selection and improvement

Pest and disease control and management in agroforestry systems

Domestic animals and fodder in agroforestry systems

Socio-economy and development cross cutting issues, e.g. tenure, gender, economic development and adoptability

Learning Outcome

The objective of the course is to provide students an insight into the overall options, limitations and constrains pertaining to sustainability of small complex production systems with a large tree component under a wide range of conditions, with particular emphasis on the tropics. The course should enable students to relate to agroforestry systems under different bio-physical, socio-economic and political settings and suggest development strategies to improve outputs of the systems

By the end of the course the students are expected to be able to:


  • Describe positive and negative effects of trees on physical (e.g. soil, microclimate, water balance) and biological (e.g. crops, animals, and pests) factors in different systems, climates and topography.
  • List major crop and agroforestry trees and their interaction in agroforestry systems
  • List major types of pest and diseases in tropical agriculture, and their possible interaction with trees or tree environments
  • Describe how interaction may change with seasons and with growth and development of  trees
  • Describe relevant technical and management operations, which can be used to improve total yield, food security, financial security and other relevant outputs of the AF system
  • Describe the interaction between livestock and the bio-physical environment in agroforestry systems
  • Describe the principle of nutrient cycling and energy flow in small subsistence systems with a large tree component
  • Describe how political and cultural regulations may improve or discourage perennial crops in farming systems


  • Analyse and describe the synergetic, complementary and competitive relations between different species in small complex systems consisting of several crops, animals and tree species
  • Analyse the framework of biophysical conditions in the main types of tropical systems (humid lowland, dry areas and highlands tropics) and temperate regions and its influence and limitation on agricultural systems.
  • Explain key socio-economic constraints and limitations in relation to present conditions and adoptability of improved practices, for example under different economic, political, historical and cultural settings
  • Explain how presence of trees in general and particular species alter conditions for pest and pathogens, and how trees may aggravate or reduce pest and disease problems as compared with non-AF systems
  • Analyse quantitative and qualitative outputs of agroforestry systems in relation to investment and production cost, seasonality, market and domestic need
  • Analyze sustainability in terms of production, income and long term natural resource management in agroforestry systems



  • Recommend relevant agroforestry interventions to meet/cope with/overcome short and long term food problems, production constraints and/or environmental degradation

  • Predict possible implementation/adoption obstacles in relation to socioeconomic factors

  • Predict possible areas of conflicting interests in relation to various types of agroforestry interventions under different ecological and socio-economic settings

Teaching material consists of book chapters and articles which will be linked or uploaded via Absalon

It is recommended that the student possesses a basic understanding of natural resource management

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Teaching is primarily based on regular classroom sessions. Teaching material such as lecture notes, exercises and overview material will be distributed during classroom sessions and uploaded to KU e-learning system Absalon. Selected parts may be taught and discussed via e-learning.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 84
  • Exercises
  • 56
  • Exam
  • 26
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

Students are expected to make two oral presentations during the course and will receive oral feedback on those. At the final exam, students get an explanation of their grade of the two parts of exams, using a list of evaluation criteria

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 24 hours
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
Description of examination: The written assignment is a 24 hour written assignment, which takes place half way through the course. Students develop the agroforestry component of a pre-written framework of a particular farm in a particular environment. The assignment includes only those topics taught during the first modules of the course.

The oral exam may start with 1-2 clarifying questions to written work and answers be evaluated together as part of the written exam. The main part of the oral exam will be a discussion of a randomly selected topic covering any of the course modules
Weight: The final grade will be based on a total evaluation of the two parts of the exam (50%+50%). In order to pass the exam, each of the two exam parts must achieve a passing grade (minimum grade 02).
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Written assignement and oral examination. 24 hours written assigment handed out during the re-examination week, followed by an oral examination of about 20 minutes. The final grade will be based on a total evaluation of the two parts of the exam (50%+50%).  In order to pass the exam, each of the two exam parts must achieve a passing grade (minimum grade 02). If one of the exam parts (written or oral) has been passed during the ordinary exam, re-exam will only be held for the part not passed during the ordinary exam 

Criteria for exam assesment

Se learning outcome