On the 24th of August Dr. Hannah van Zanten, Aart van der Linden MSc and Renske Hijbeek MSc, three young researchers from Wageningen, presented highlights of their research in The Hague, at the farewell meeting of Prof. Rudy Rabbinge as chair of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, and as special envoy for food security for the Dutch ministry of Economic affairs. Mr. Rabbinge is also a former professor of the Plant Production Systems chair group (then called Theoretical Production Ecology) and is University Professor Emeritus in Sustainable Development and Food Security at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The meeting was part of the Vijverberg sessions, which aim to promote cross sector dialogue between governmental, finance, not-for-profit and agribusiness organisations.
Hannah van Zanten has researched the role of livestock products in a sustainable diet, at the Animal Production Systems (APS) group of Wageningen University. She recently defended her PhD thesis cum laude, showing that about one third of the human protein needs can be produced without competition for land between feed and food production. Aart and Renske are both currently finishing their PhD research at the Plant Production Systems (PPS) group. Aart van der Linden has investigated if and how concepts of theoretical production ecology (so far used mostly in researching plant production systems) can be used to assess productivity gaps in animal production. He showed that this is possible and allows for identification of hotspots for yield gap mitigation. Renske Hijbeek has tested the assumption that mineral
fertilizer applications result in greater crop yield gains when combined with organic inputs. She showed that in most cases this assumption does not hold true for European agriculture. More information on the event and presentations can be found at the websites of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Food First.