Master thesis and internship possibilities: INNOVATIVE AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY IN THE PYRENEES

The project takes place in a little mountain village in the Spanish Pyrenees. The question is formulated by a Dutch woman who lives and works in this village. 

The central question is: How can agriculture, in a little mountain village in the Spanish Pyrenees, be developed in a way that meets the circumstances and needs of today?

This particular mountain village has been abandoned for fifty years. The association ‘Muro de Solana’ (http://murodesolana.org/) is dedicated to bring it back to life.

Pyreneeen

The means of living here used to be cattle breeding and farming, mainly producing potatoes and wheat. Since many people have left, the once cultivated fields have been replanted with pine trees. The terrain  has small fields and difficult access and also a lack of water supply. The village used to have only a few  hectares of farming fields, however, for this project they consider an area between 1-10 hectares. A true challenge!

Rather than going back to the old means of agriculture the association looks for innovative ways of farming which meet the circumstances and needs of today. This means the development of farming practices which improve the soil quality, are less intense in labour, produce products based on demands, and reconstruct the current forest fields.

The research results can be an inspiring example for other (semi-)abandoned villages in the North of Spain, giving villages an source of income, as well as providing reduced risks of forest fires.

Main goal is to regenerate forest farming fields, now poor in biodiversity and with the risk of forest fires (due to the planted pine trees), into useful, productive and fertile terrain.

There is no deadline for this project.

Contact person: lummina.horlings@wur.nl

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