Arnold van Huis's research

Arnold van Huis coordinate the interdisciplinary research programme “Convergence of Sciences” (CoS), since 2001.


In the first phase (2001-2006; €2.3 million; 9 PhDs) it appeared that participatory technology development in Benin and Ghana was constrained by institutional issues such as labour arrangements, land tenure issues, exploitive networks, cheating, and deficient contractual arrangements. In the second phase, the programme “Strengthening agricultural innovation systems in Benin, Ghana and Mali (CoS-SIS)” aims at tackling such constraints by elaborating, applying and assessing an innovation system approach. It is funded by the Directorate General of International Cooperation of the Netherlands (DGIS) from 2008 to 2013 for the amount of € 4.5 million. The approach in the second phase with 9 postdocs and 11 PhD students implies concerted action among relevant actors (farmers, researchers, communities, companies, policy makers etc.) to realize opportunities (often beyond farm level), such as better access to remunerative markets, inputs, knowledge and credit, more value-added activities, security of tenure, better organization for exerting political influence, post-harvest activities to allow small farmers to jointly supply supermarkets, and effective political support to combat cheap imports. With two PhD students the chair group is involved in IPM in cotton in Benin and in quality improvement (e.g. beans free of pesticide residues) of cocoa in Ghana.

Entomophagy, the human consumption of insects, has become an important research field within the chair group. We explore the potential of the sustainable production of high quality edible insects and insect-derived products, in particular proteins, from side streams (organic waste). This research is carried out in the framework of a 4-year research programme “Sustainable production of Insect Proteins for human consumption” (SUPRO2), funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food quality. This one million euro programme, coordinated by me, runs from 2010 to 2013 and is implemented in collaboration with the chair group ‘Product Design and Quality, and Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research. We also investigate the nutritive and environmental aspects of insects as human food, while in the tropics (Laos) the sustainable harvesting of insects, in particular weaver ants, is studied. I narrowly collaborate with FAO in different aspects of entomophagy such as the formulation of a global policy.