Today more than 40 percent of Wageningen alumni come from overseas. Two of them talk about where their Wageningen degree got them to.
‘The modern large-scale farming methods used in the tropics are the direct cause of huge environmental problems such as deforestation and climate change,’ says Gisella Cruz Garcia. ‘And besides, this system fails to provide food security for more than one billion people. By making agriculture more diverse as well as making use of wild plant species, we can tackle environmental problems while at the same time increasing food security.’
This impassioned researcher, who was born in Peru, studied Biology at the Agricultural University in La Molina. She met her Dutch husband Paul Peters during field research in the Andes in 2002. ‘He was at university in Wageningen,’ she says. ‘I went back with him, partly because I could study the social sciences in Wageningen. That was a good addition to my knowledge of biology.’
Horticulturalists, researchers and industry
Rui Qing Huang first came to the Netherlands with something else in mind. He visited Wageningen in 1986 to get some inspiration for a Chinese horticulture project. ‘I came with eight colleagues and we wanted to learn about the Dutch approach and buy technology for building greenhouses in China,’ says Huang. ‘It made a big impression on me. It was high quality technology. But the most important thing was the good communication between horticulturalists, researchers and industry in the Netherlands. That synergy makes it a strong system.’