Mineral Valley Twente is researching practical solutions that contribute to healthy soil, sustainable fertilization and other applications for manure and biomas
The agricultural sector in the Netherlands is highly developed and very efficient. But it is not sustainable. The quality of the soils is diminishing and there are environmental problems (pollution of water and air). The ministry of agriculture has developed a policy framework for the transition to circular agriculture in the Netherlands. Mineral Valley Twente (MVT) puts this policy framework into practice. Farmers, knowledge institutions, governments and companies work together on a sustainable Twente agricultural sector and circular agriculture. This preserves a vital rural area and boosts business activity in the urban area.
MVT is researching solutions that contribute to healthy soil, sustainable fertilization and other applications for manure and biomass. We do this in practice with experiments, mostly at the farm level. In 2019 there are 20 experiments running across Twente. In 2020 the aim is to have 40 experiments. From the experiments we learn which sustainable working methods work for the farmer and what changes in policy and legislation are necessary to broadly implement these new working methods. For this we closely work together with province Overijssel and the ministry of agriculture. MVT is designated as an experiment region by the ministry of agriculture. That means that we can develop policy recommendations from the experiments in MVT and discuss these with policymakers of all levels for implementation in local, regional, national and EU policy.
For the current programme the budget is € 2.000.000,-. The origin of the funds are:
Province Overijssel: € 500.000,-
Municipalities Twente: € 500.000,-
Partners agricultural sector: € 1.000.000,-
Evidence of success
Mineral Valley Twente only supports experiments that are initiated by and based at the farmers in Twente. We now have 20 experiments throughout Twente (see www.mineralvalley.nl), with over 100 participants. We have also obtained a special experimental status in the policy documents of the ministry of agriculture (see https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/publicaties/2019/06/17/realisatieplan-visie-lnv-op-weg-met-nieuw-perspectief ).
Potential for learning or transfer
Mineral Valley Twente combines a bottom up approach with top guided transition of the agricultural sector. Circular agriculture is by definition a regional circular agriculture, because of the regional differences in the natural conditions, culture and heritage and the structure of the regional economy. Mineral Valley Twente translates abstract ambitions of a circular and climate friendly economy into practice in the region. Once per year there is a big congress about the project for stakeholders and project partners. And a couple time per year there is a smaller meeting with partners from the projects who show the results at possible partners in the future. This approach can also be useful for other regions in Europe.
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