Wageningen UR has signed a memorandum of understanding with Embrapa, the
largest Brazilian research organisation for agriculture and the
Dr Peter Zuurbier, who maintains contacts with Brazil for Wageningen UR is
optimistic: there are already 50 Wageningers collaborating with Brazilians,
and he expects the number of projects to grow. Embrapa has 8,400 employees
working in over forty institutes, most of which are internationally active.
Wageningen UR currently has nine big research projects running with
Brazilians, not only at Embrapa. These cover a range of activities,
including support to horticultural export products and the certification of
timber products from the Amazon. According to Zuurbier, international
networking is of strategic importance. Last year Wageningen UR signed a
similar agreement with Japan, and he met the same Japanese colleagues
during his visit to Brazil.
Wageningen UR has become an institutional member of Biomed Central, the
portal providing free Internet access to the peer-reviewed biomedical
articles published in its journals.
The library at Wageningen UR will benefit most from this arrangement, as it
means that it does not have to buy all the publications in which Wageningen
researchers have published. The Wageningen UR page can be found at
Wine growing course
Applied Plant Research (PPO) has organised a course on vineyard management
at the request of Dutch farmers. It started mid-March and demand is high.
The introduction of new grape varieties a few years ago has made it
possible to produce wine commercially in Holland. At present less than one
hundred hectares are devoted to wine production in this country, but
farmers in Limburg and the Achterhoek area have expressed interest in wine
growing. PPO developed a course which lasts for the whole growing season.
Farmers will learn how to start a vineyard, as well as care of and
harvesting the grapes. While PPO already has expertise on berry growing
they had to call on the few pioneer wine growers in the Netherlands for
grape knowledge. They hope that the amount of vineyards will grow
sufficiently to lead to research contracts.