Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and VVD-MP’s Helma Lodders and Bart de Liefde visited Wageningen UR on the 12th of March 2014. A day later, GroenLinks MP Jesse Klaver participated in a debate with students from Wageningen. It’s clear: election season has started.
Wageningen world-class in Agri&Food
Prime Minister Rutte attended two debates on the 12th: a student debate and a network event for entrepreneurs. He praised Wageningen UR and the innovation that takes place here and said that he once again realised that Wageningen is world class in Agri&Food during his recent visits to China and Indonesia. The Netherlands has become the second food exporting nation in the world, and the Prime Minister believes this is partially due to the knowledge and innovation that takes place in Wageningen.
The students asked questions on a large number of topics, ranging from the critical situation in the Crimea to questions about organic farming and the world food problem. The Prime Minister did not avoid any questions and deferred to Johan Ossinga, the number one on the list of the VVD in the local elections, when local affairs were discussed.
At the network meeting with local entrepreneurs the Prime Minister emphasised the impressive part that Wageningen UR plays in the Dutch economy. The Agri&Food domain constitutes 10% percent of the jobs, 10% percent of the national income and 60% of the export surplus in the Netherlands. And he believes that this is partially due to Wageningen UR’s efforts as a knowledge and innovation centre.