Sustainability and resilience of European farming systems


“Towards SUstainable and REsilient EU FARMing systems (SURE-Farm)” is an EU-funded project. As concerns exist about the viability of EU farming systems, in this four-year project we aim to design concrete pathways to improve the resilience of farming systems. The project addresses determinants of resilience, potential improvements of risk management strategies, drivers of farm demographics, and strengths and weaknesses of the existing policy framework. Expected impacts are assessed with regard to the delivery of private and public goods. Integrated assessments of the resilience of farming systems are performed in a variety of case studies across the EU, including arable farming in the Netherlands.

Many possibilities exist for an MSc thesis topic. We envision to use a diversity of tools and methods: statistical analysis, scenario development, participatory impact assessment, crop modelling, farm modelling, agent-based modelling, farmer interviews, mind mapping, assessing ecosystem services, etc. Based on these methods we aim to assess the current and future sustainability and resilience of farming systems in Europe. Your work will consist of working with one or more of these methods and tools, applied for one or more farming systems.


Within the EU-project, which runs until 2021, we are able to link you up within WUR with the research groups Public Policy and Administration, Business Economics and Strategic Communication. Possibly we can also connect you with international partners in Germany, France, Norway and Italy for interesting case studies. Also analysing farming systems in other EU countries may be an option.


We are welcoming students who would like to contribute to interdisciplinary research as well as students who would like to solve just one part of the puzzle within one scientific discipline. Prerequisites depend on the topic to be investigated, but completion of the course PPS-30306 Quantitative Analysis Land Use Systems is preferred.


Wageningen and possibly somewhere in Europe where we have a project-partner.


Any time


Pytrik Reidsma                                   0317 – 48 55 78            

Wim Paas