As a farmer, what can you do, or do differently, to continue to future-proof your business? And what can governments and parties in the chain do to encourage entrepreneurs to change? Innovation is a necessity for farmers to ensure the continuity and growth of their businesses. We work according to short, cyclical development processes that involve agriculturalists and horticulturists at every phase of the innovation process: from articulating the question and forming the concept to implementing the idea at the company or bringing it to market. This co-innovation is accomplished with the aid of networks of entrepreneurs and other stakeholders such as suppliers, NGOs and interest groups.
We have experience guiding groups of entrepreneurs through the innovation process. In addressing substantive challenges, Wageningen Plant Research draws upon its extensive scientific knowledge and on the practical experience and knowledge of stakeholders. Our methods for outlining future prospects also address economic and environmental feasibility. We also assist governments, parties in the market and knowledge organisations with developing and/or evaluating innovation programmes, whether these are based in the Netherlands or further afield for international projects.
In the network project 'Grondig Boeren met Maïs' (in Dutch), livestock farmers, employees and advisers collaborate on research into profitable maize cultivation without harmful environmental effects. For this research, special attention is given to proper soil management.
Innovatie Veenkoloniën is an innovative programme set up in the peat areas in the north of the Netherlands, involving networks focused on improving the sustainability and yields of starch potatoes, sugar beets and grains.
- Telen met Toekomst ('Farming with a future') was a project we worked on between 2004 to 2010 with hundreds of agricultural and horticultural producers and stakeholders in groups to apply sustainable crop protection and fertilising in practice.
- Network approaches with organic farmers and multifunctional farmers (Waardewerken, PlattelandImpuls, Groeikans - all in Dutch)