Participatory serious games: developing a tool to design mixed farming and agroforestry systems

Rosemary Venn, Elsbeth Smit, Isabella Selin-Norén, Andrew Dawson, Jeroen Watté, Sara Burbi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


The AGROMIX project is a research and innovation project that focusses on the transition towards resilient farming, efficient land use and sustainable agricultural value chains in Europe. AGROMIX aims to deliver participatory research looking specifically at mixed farming (MF) and agroforestry (AF) systems as practical agroecological solutions for farm and land management. Despite policies supporting AF systems in Europe, there has been little farmer uptake. This has been attributed to a lack of knowledge and financing. Working in a collaborative way with researchers and farmers, AGROMIX aims to deliver tools and research that can be used by a wide variety of practitioners and that speaks directly to their needs in user-friendly engaging ways. In collaboration with a group of pilot sites across Europe, AGROMIX is developing a serious game that will directly address farmers’ needs and concerns, integrating researchers’ contributions as well. The aim of this product is to support the design and implementation phase of AF and MF systems. The prototype will be developed based on an inventory of users’ needs. The inventory will determine which needs are met by existing tools and what apps, tools, serious games or models might be the most valuable to continue developing. The AGROMIX pilot sites were surveyed and preliminary results highlighted three key topics that farmers and researchers would value in such a tool. These are: (a) tree and soil / environment interaction, (b) soil and water management, and (c) tree-crop interaction, in the context of a changing climate. Respondents highlighted two key priorities: (1) networking and knowledge sharing and (2) qualitative and quantitative scenario exploration. Respondents cited interest in quantified data to explore real life scenarios, e.g. the effect on soil fertility and micro-climates. Research is on-going in the development of the AGROMIX serious game, that will consider the needs highlighted by the survey respondents. Where these needs are partially met by existing tools and models, we aim to collaborate and build upon such tools, for instance; FarmDESIGN (Groot et al., 2012), SEGAE (Godinot, 2018), GATES (, DEXi (Martin et al., 2019). The output will be made available on the AGROMIX website and dissemination will take place through conferences, farmer workshops and industry events.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Agroforestry Federation
Subtitle of host publicationEURAF2022 “Agroforestry for the Green Deal transition. Research and innovation towards the sustainable development of agriculture and forestry”
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2022
Event6th European Agroforestry Conference - Nuoro, Italy
Duration: 16 May 202220 May 2022


Conference6th European Agroforestry Conference
Abbreviated titleEURAF 2022
Internet address


  • agroforestry
  • mixed farming
  • serious game
  • participatory research


Dive into the research topics of 'Participatory serious games: developing a tool to design mixed farming and agroforestry systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this