(November 8, 2018) - The government sees recycle farming as the future of agriculture. During the opening of the new Wageningen University & Research (WUR) location in the WTC, the various speakers indicated that good social and economic research is essential to arrive at the right decisions in the policy. The transition to a circular and sustainable food system also requires a change in research, in approach and models.
An independent research institute close to policy makers in connection with society and fellow researchers is essential for the agricultural sector. The major challenges in the area of climate, nutrition and urban development require insights based on figures. Based on the models, data and expertise of Wageningen Economic Research, the discussion can be fed and we can look for answers to questions such as' how do you introduce new food concepts? ', How do you motivate more sustainable choices?' and 'how do you feed the city in a sustainable way?'
Thus, the mayor of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, WUR board chairman Louise O. Fresco and director of Agribusiness and Nature Knowledge of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Michel Berkelmans gave their views on the role of Wageningen Economic Research and applied social and economic research during the opening of the new WUR location in The Hague.
Renewal of research
Jack van der Vorst, director Social Sciences Group, then indicated that policy renewal also requires renewal at Wageningen Economic Research, both in research methodology and in the models.
For example when it comes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In the coming years, countries will be given more leeway to implement this themselves, but they will have to present their plans to the Commission with a thorough policy evaluation. Minister Schouten is focusing on recycled agriculture. One of the means to achieve is an optimal use of the CAP with regard to incomes of farmers, climate, soil quality, agricultural nature management and biodiversity.
This policy change calls for integrated research and models and that also have a link with climate and nature. Wageningen Economic Research is therefore working on the further development of its models, including in European research projects.
Greater role for society through new research methods
In addition, Wageningen Economic Research sees a larger role for farmers and other actors in the development of policy. This can be done using ICT and new research methods such as living labs . This is a new research approach that not only uses a lab environment, but behavior insights in a multidisciplinary approach are tested in 'real life' situations with 'real people'.
Wageningen Economic Research moved to the WTC in The Hague
The new WUR hub in The Hague acts as the office of Wageningen Economic Research, the social and economic research institute of Wageningen University & Research.
Wageningen Economic Research and its predecessors (the Agricultural Economics Institute and LEI Wageningen UR) have been established in The Hague since 1940. Based on data, models and sector and domain knowledge, Wageningen Economic Research offers policy makers, companies and society insight into the major challenges surrounding the food system.
The new location encourages researchers and relations to meet each other in order to develop new insights.