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Seminar "Shaping the vision for the sustainable future of Dutch agriculture"

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In the frame of ERA-NET SURPLUS project TSARA, stakeholders discussed on how to align future Dutch agriculture with the UN Sustainable Development Goal towards food security and agricultural sustainability at a seminar organised at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) on 8 May 2018. The collective analysis of different agricultural pathways can directly inform policy making.

The implantation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) involves several challenges, including complex trade-offs across objectives and scales. Since 2016, researchers from Wageningen University (NL), Rothamsted Research (UK) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (FR), involved in the TSARA* research project, have been working on facilitating this process in the Netherlands and other European countries with a focus on food security and agricultural sustainability (SDG-2).

Martin van Ittersum, Juliana Gil, and Pytrik Reidsma of Wageningen University Plant Production Systems organised a series of seminars as part of the stakeholder consultation process in the Netherlands. The first seminar focused on improving SDG-2 indicators, and the second on the definition of targets for the revised indicators. This third seminar focused on the way to achieve these targets simultaneously. The Wageningen University researchers organised the seminar together with LNV policy coordinators for food security, Patricia Wagenmakers and Hans Brand, who invited representatives from government, business, academia, civil society and farmer associations to this seminar.

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Reflecting on the outcomes, Van Ittersum remarks that the seminar revealed that there is much willingness and creativity to look beyond production, and to seek solutions and innovations throughout the food system. The outcomes of the seminar will be used for deeper analysis in the project and this in turn will be used for a final workshop in The Hague.

* TSARA (Towards Sustainable And Resilient Agriculture) is one of the 14 transnational research projects funded by the FACCE SURPLUS call on “Sustainable and Resilient agriculture for food and non-food systems”. This call is supported by funders from 14 countries and co-funded by the EC.  

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