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UG supports agricultural transition with funding for new research

01 November 2022
Regenerative agriculture

Gjalt de Jong, Professor of Sustainable Entrepreneurship in a Circular Economy at the University of Groningen, has received an honourable grant from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality (LNV) for research into future-proof business models for regenerative agriculture. He has been awarded the grant of €550,000 on behalf of a research consortium comprising the University of Groningen, Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research, and the Top Institute Food and Nutrition (TIFN). The UG will invests €300,000 into the research, resulting in a total research budget of €850,000.

Future business models

The research objective is to explore what a certain area needs to be able to develop future- proof business models for regenerative agriculture. The researchers will focus on two regions: Northern Friesland and the Achterhoek. The research connects with the current activities of the research consortium in the field of regenerative agriculture and the Sicco Mansholt Transition programme of the University of the North.

More pressing than ever

Jouke de Vries, President of the Board of the University of Groningen, underlines the leading position of the UG and the University of the North in the agricultural transition: ‘The transition to a new agricultural model is more pressing than ever. It will generate plenty of opportunities for new products, new services, and new earnings models with which we can rebalance nature with better health and sustainable incomes for farmers and chain partners. De Jong has extensive experience with these complex change processes and has in a very short amount of time put new points on the horizon, together with partners and the agricultural sector. With this LNV grant and investment from the UG, the Northern Netherlands will become a textbook example of successful transitions.’

New perspective

De Jong is grateful to the Ministry of LNV for awarding him the grant: ‘The Remkes Committee has indicated that new perspectives in agriculture are incredibly necessary. Through this research and this consortium of top scientists, the agricultural sector, and policymakers, we can make this concrete. We will look for practical and applicable solutions. We are all enthusiastic about producing healthy food in a healthy way. This excellent collaboration shows that the Northern Netherlands and the Achterhoek are birthing chambers for new, sustainable solutions.’

Jerry van Dijk is a core partner in the research and the consortium on behalf of the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. He too is looking forward to the new research: ‘We know that regenerative agriculture can offer solutions to the problems of the current agricultural system, but a large-scale shift to regenerative agriculture remains absent. Finding dependable new business models for farmers and chain parties is the key to this transition. That is exactly why this grant and this research are so important.’

About Professor Gjalt de Jong

Gjalt de Jong

Gjalt de Jong is Professor of Sustainable Entrepreneurship in a Circular Economy at the UG/Campus Fryslân, with extensive experience with complex change processes and sustainable enterprise. De Jong was at the cradle of Campus Fryslân, the eleventh faculty of the UG in Leeuwarden, where he developed the Master’s degree programme in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Start-Up Academy, among other things. He is also chair
of the Centre for Sustainable Entrepreneurship. De Jong is dedicated to the agricultural transition in relation to the University of the North and, to this end, works closely together with the AgroAgenda Northern Netherlands.

Note for the press:

For more information, please contact the spokespeople of the University of Groningen: Anja Hulshof, a.r.hulshof, 06 115 163 23, or Elies Kouwenhoven, e.kouwenhoven, 06 251 009 55.

Last modified:15 November 2022 2.36 p.m.
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