Resilience and innovation in the agricultural sector

InnovationNewsSustainabilityMonday, 21 Jun 2021

Wageningen University & Research has conducted research into the resilience of the agricultural sector. How do farmers keep in step with their environment? Examples include the changing weather conditions, climate change and government policy.


Using 21 different research techniques, scientist Miranda Meuwissen (WUR) conducted research into the resilience of agriculture in Europe. This is reflected in the Veenkoloniën (Peat Colonies) in the Northern Netherlands, a region with a great deal of passion and innovative strength. And not just among the farmers, but also potato starch producer Avebe. Sustainability Director Peter-Erik Ywema talks about sustainable and resilient entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector.


Two conclusions emerge from the study. There are plenty of fresh ideas to respond to all developments. Not only in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe. That includes working on better varieties, reducing our carbon footprint and cutting back the use of crop protection agents. Farmers cope well with risks and changing circumstances: another finding of the resilience study. But it has to be gradual.

At the same time, there are also concerns. Adapting is not always easy. It takes time and government policies are not always as consistent as they might be.

But despite the concerns, most farmers are undaunted and are looking to the future with confidence. The agricultural sector continues to implement the good ideas to respond to all the changes. This leads to more diversity, which in turn makes it possible to spread the risks and make it easier for other parties, such as banks and the government, to move with them.

Would you like to know more about the results of the study? Watch the video here.