HortEco (NWO)

The HortEco programme recognizes that development of ecologically and socio-economically sustainable food systems is highly important for balanced economic growth, but has remained understudied for transition countries when compared to developing or developed countries.

Vegetable systems in Chile and Uruguay place high pressure on natural resources, while at the same time there is a noted lack of safe and affordable vegetables for urban populations. Therefore the objective of the HortEco programme, funded by the Dutch Science Council (NWO-WOTRO), is to enhance the sustainability of vegetable food systems in transitioning countries by investigating and supporting organization working on the production and marketing of low-or-no-pesticide vegetables.

To achieve this objective, the programme will focus on:

i) ecologically intensive horticultural production,

ii) socio-economically sustainable value chain collaboration (between farmers and between farmers, agribusiness and retail), and

iii) change agents in the innovation system to support the transition to sustainable horticultural farms and markets.

3 PhD projects have been formulated on these three topics, divided over four science groups of Wageningen University. A Post-doc supports the project.

The PhD in the Management Studies group works on horizontal and vertical value chain collaboration models, in particular on organisational arrangements to support ecological intensification and marketing.