urban areas - towns - agriculture - food production - farming systems - peasant farming - allotment gardens
Abstract: Urban food systems are at great risk from shocks, such as hurricanes that wipe out stores in a matter of hours, and stresses, like drought that depletes a region’s crops over years. Therefore, the food system should be an important part of disaster preparedness and urban resilience planning. Expanding urban agriculture is one way to support resilience. But to ensure food security for an urban population in the face of disruptions requires looking beyond production. Resilience planning requires an understanding of how to support the whole food system from farm to plate, and a consideration of how to make sure the food available after disasters is also healthy and accessible for urban residents.
Voogt, Wim \ Balendonck, Jos \ Winkel, Aat van \ 2018
Abstract: The application of soil moisture sensors to indicate leaching from the root zone was tested in several situations with soil grown greenhouse crops, with and without lysimeters. The integrated DACOM-Sensation, with sensors at 15, 25 and 60 cm depth was used in these tests. It appeared that the measuring signal was inaccurate, a conversion and calibration equation was developed to convert the signal to volumetric soil moisture contents. During the tests it appeared that the irrigation and infiltration into the top and subsoil could be followed, however the signal from the sensor at 60 cm was stable and it could not indicate any leaching, not even in case of situations with realistic leaching as derived from the lysimeters.
Abstract: A traditional waste stream is related to greenhouse crops: removal of leaves for the better development of the fruit or vegetable; a substantial share of wasted crops after harvesting; and, biomass resulting from seasonally clearing greenhouses. Wageningen University and Research has been working together with Schut Paper on upcycling such greenhouse residuals into fiber enriched paper and cardboard. The subtle presence of added fibers raises the visual value of their paper and cardboard-brand Valorise. Residual biomass can replace cellulose from wood up till one-sixth of the paper and cardboard. Such innovative circular practices help this small-sized paper company to differentiate and survive.
biobased economy - building materials - biobased materials - biopolymers
Abstract: BEWiSynbra approached Wageningen University and Research to jointly create a biobased alternative for fossil-based polystyrene insulation foam (EPS). Crops with a high sugar content (e.g. sugar cane, and sugar beet) proved to suit best the required EPS-characteristics. The derived biobased polylactic acid (PLA) became the feedstock of the product BioFoam. There are quite some steps from biomass till BioFoam, moulded for, e.g., insulation, horticultural substrates, or organ transportation. It can be completely biodegraded, composted, re-formed, or recycled . BioFoam received many recognitions, being the first foam to receive Cradle2Cradle (C2CCM) certification, in 2009. Having started a substantial factory what turned out to be the market opportunities and challenges for such biobased products?
Herens, Marion \ Peters, Bram \ Brouwers, Jan \ Bosch, Diane \ Maden, Edwin van der \ Linderhof, Vincent \ Verhagen, Jan \ 2018
Abstract: Food systems in low and middle income countries are changing rapidly in response to economic and market developments, environmental impacts, and dietary changes. Within this context, informed policy and sustainable development processes are needed to shape climate-smart and resilient food systems for food and nutrition security at farming household level. This research project aimed to a) explore the complexity of the contextual dynamics in which smallholder farming households operate; and b) contribute to a better conceptual understanding of commercial food production strategies in relation to consumption choices. A literature review was conducted, exploring both scientific and grey literature, in parallel to consultation rounds with a multidisciplinary team of agronomists, economists, nutritionists and international development specialists to explore existing insights, align available expertise, and find common ground on how to create a useful framework that would fit the specific interests and expertise of each of the actors involved. Key elements for our framework were preliminary drawn from existing frameworks. A number of - non-exclusive - pathways were identified. These include subsistence-oriented production for the household’s own consumption (source of food), whereby women – as producers as well as care takers - are seen as the crucial agents for household food security and health outcomes; production for sale in markets (source of income); and agricultural policies (national and global), affecting a range of supply and demand factors that establish the price of marketed food and non-food crops (food price policies). The important characteristics for the framework for viable commercial agriculture and consumption of nutritious foods evolve around different aggregation levels: the individual (gender and power dynamics), the household (household food production, income generation, food purchase choices, care practices, access to health care), the community (employment opportunity, collaboration, microfinance, care and social (infra)structure), and the regional/nation (price and trade policy) level.
Abstract: What innovations reduce Europe’s dependency on unstable and contested imports of coconut oil, palm kernel oils, fatty acids and castor oil? For substitutes, researchers of Wageningen University and Research, by the COSMOS-project, looked into the crops Camelina and Crambe. New plant breeding techniques, such as CRISPR, enhanced characteristics of these crops regarding both their flavor and the molecular structure of their oils. One can further valorise the side streams, such as press cake, by using them as feed for the Black Soldier Fly larvae. The Entomology-department thus, out of these new crops, realise extra valuable proteins and insect oils.
Abstract: Researchers have found three species of predatory bug in the Miridae family that can limit the establishment of the harmful predatory bug Nesidiocoris tenuis in tomato crops. “Omnivorous predatory bugs could potentially be a great help in biological pest control,” researcher Gerben Messelink says.
Logatcheva, Katja \ Galen, Michiel van \ Janssens, Bas \ Splinter, Gerben \ 2018
Abstract: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has asked Wageningen Economic Research to carry out a study on the Croatian fruit and vegetables sector and value chain to make a contribution to the enhancement of the position of growers in the value chain. The study shows that the Croatian fruit and vegetables farming sector has opportunities in the development of the domestic supermarket channel and tourism markets. In the short run, growers will benefit from improving yields, efficiency and product quality. Increasing supply volumes and hence marketing efficiency can also be achieved by improved cooperation between farmers and further land reform measures. A good competitive position on the domestic market is a necessary pre-condition for increasing exports. In the longer term, in order to be able to develop export markets, the sector will benefit from the development of a buyers network, marketing, EU quality labels, and export logistics.
Abstract: Nitrate loss from bioenergy crop fields has attracted considerable attention during the last few years because of its potential negative impact on aquatic and human health. Both controllable and uncontrollable factors for nitrate loss have been the subject of several previous studies. Due to differences in climate, biophysical dissimilarities and land management characteristics in different parts of the world the factors affecting nitrate loss are often inconsistent and hence difficult to generalize. Therefore, reanalyzing the experimental field or plot scale studies to understand the nitrate loss factors in crop fields is useful and necessary in developing management strategies for reducing nitrate loss. This research synthesized and investigated 36 peer reviewed scientific journal articles related to selected bioenergy crop fields that included: continuous corn, corn in rotation with soybean, switchgrass and Miscanthus to conduct a meta-analysis of the available research. In this study, factors such as drain tile spacing, tillage practices, type and timing of the fertilization rate, irrigation and various other factors, which are challenging to represent in regression equations, were also systematically analyzed. In addition, various other agronomic characteristics that are attributed too nitrate loss are caused by perennially planted bio energized crops such as Miscanthus and switchgrass. Results indicated that 49% of nitrate loss through surface runoff from corn fields is directly related to the annual precipitation and fertilization rate. Multiple linear regression equations were developed to estimate the annual subsurface nitrate loss for the continuous corn fields with a R2 value of 0.65, 0.58 and 0.26 for sandy loam, silty loam and clay loam, respectively. Our analysis resulted in the conclusion that corn has a 2 to 3 times higher nitrate loss in surface runoff compared to switchgrass. Likewise, continuous corn and corn in rotation with soybean contributed more than 9 times the subsurface loss of nitrate compared to the established subsurface loss attributed to the Miscanthus and switchgrass
Abstract: Dit proefschrift draagt bij tot een beter begrip van de interacties tussen de bodem-waterplant systemen en tot meer geavanceerde procesgerichte modelmatige benaderingen. Bovendien wordt antwoord gegeven op vier onderzoeksvragen: 1. Wat is de rol van de verticale waterstromen zoals capillaire opstijging en recirculerend percolatiewater op de gewasopbrengsten? 2. Hoe kunnen we droogte-, zout- en zuurstof-stress modelleren en wat is hun invloed op de gewasopbrengsten? 3. Kunnen we de impact van verschillende stress-vormen op de graslandproductie in Nederland voorspellen? 4. Wat is de invloed van veranderingen in grondwaterstanden en landgebruik op gewasopbrengsten en grondwateraanvulling?
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