Niek Koning and Dick Veerman. Did we definitely escape the Malthusian trap? Can we leave poverty traps and myopic expectations behind? Don’t we remain too dangerously dependent on organic materials from current or past photosynthesis, in the context of peak oil and continuing consumption growth?
Science is called upon to find solutions for these problems. A number of answers has been given both in the fields of biochemistry and social-political theory. Wageningen Sciences point into two directions: some prioritize maximizing the use of the technical potential, others prioritize supporting the agency of farmers for ensuring global food security in the future. But are the upholders of these views as different as they think they are? Or do they share a blind eye for the necessarily imperfect social-political world? Will we make it to 2050, if willingness to collaborate in order to optimize agricultural performance cannot be organized or fails to organize itself? Let’s evaluate the a ‘Yes we can!’ optimism critically!
Niek Koning (1948) is a social scientist focused on the relationships between farmers, the state, and human development. After studying the agricultural policy history of developed countries, he broadened his scope to include the diverging experiences of developing regions, as well as the critical forces and interactions that may influence the global availability of food in the future. Throughout his academic career, Niek Koning has cooperated with critical farmer groups in the Netherlands and other Western countries, and more recently in Africa. Before his retirement in 2014, he worked in the Agricultural and Rural Policy Group and in the Centre for Sustainable Development and Food Security of Wageningen University.
Dick Veerman is founder, editor and moderator of Foodlog. This is an independent online discussion platform which puts news about food, health and eating into perspective. Dick Veerman sees Foodlog as a place for ‘strategic conversation’ of society about the future of food production and consumption. What are we going to eat in the 21st century? Foodlog became the best Dutch blog in Berlin in 2008. Dick Veerman studied French and Philosophy, worked as advisor, and began Foodlog in 2005. He thinks it is important that people know what they eat and have more knowledge about the production, processing and selling of food and the interests that influence all that.