Food security - Alterra

Innovative approaches are needed if we want to feed the world, now and in the future. At Alterra’s Food Security Programme we rethink and redesign our food system. The future demands for circular closed-loop systems and greater resource efficiencies. Innovations should be developed from an understanding of the total system. We apply this vision and top-of-the-notch science and business insights to offer you real life solutions.

There is a great need for innovative approaches to feeding our world. Patching up our existing food systems will not do. We rethink and redesign our farming and food system. The design is compatible with a circular economy. And it undoes system inefficiencies that have grown over the years, as original systems were designed under other knowledge, technological, societal, IT, logistical and economic parameters.

We are aware that natural resources (viz. water and nutrients) are increasingly becoming scarce. And that climate change challenges us to change the way we work. Knowing that a linear model with infinite growth and concurrent waste streams is a dead end road, we aim for closing the nutrient, water, energy, and carbon cycles. This demands integrated development at various levels of scale.

We make use of the ingenuity of nature. Biomimicry opens up a world of opportunity in industrial design. This inspires us to come up with better solutions for food production that work with nature rather than controlling nature.

Technically we are capable of much more than markets and policies will often allow. We integrate this awareness in our approach by actively involving the private sector, public sector and other players in the agri-food chain. And by offering solutions tailored to the specific case at hand.

We offer concepts, solutions and tools for:

  • Integrated Soil Productivity Management: soil fertility management and management of other soil factors required for optimum productivity
  • Soil Restoration
  • Creating nutrient markets and nutrient exchange from nutrient excess to nutrient deprived areas
  • Closing nutrient and resource cycles from sewage treatment plants, sanitation systems, manure, food processing waste streams, and on-farm waste streams
  • Designing of circular farming and food production systems (peri-urban and rural)
  • Turning agri-food waste streams into economically and ecologically valuable resources
  • Healthy soils for healty people, linking production methods, soil contaminations, soil (micro)nutrient deficiencies, and health insurance to human health and wellbeing
  • Yield Forecasting
  • Emission Reduction and
  • Farmer-led Innovations

As part of our commitment to offering total system solutions, we engage additional expertise from within and outside of Wageningen University & Research Center. We apply top-of-the-notch insights from science and business to offer you real life solutions.

Together with you we create the biophysical preconditions for green & profitable circular agri-food systems.

Our offer to you

  • Increase your yields & productivity
  • Make your agri-food chain circular
  • Develop peri-urban high-tech food production
  • Restore the productivity of degraded soils
  • Recover nutrients from your waste streams
  • Recycle nutrients, generate energy
  • Valorize waste water
  • Development through farmer-first innovations
  • Increase production, improve standard of living
  • Forecast world crop yields
  • Regionally closed and mixed production systems / agriculture / farming
  • Improve soil & pesticide related food safety
  • Reduce livestock emissions