In a letter to 'informateurs' Kamp en Bos, top man Aalt Dijkhuizen pleads the cause of Wageningen. He hopes to get 50 million euros more for the agrofood, horticulture, water and bio-based sectors. The letter is translated in full here.
The purpose of this letter is to request you when drawing up the coalition agreement to devote the needed care and attention to the status of one of the major sectors of the Dutch economy and job market: the agrofood and horticulture cluster. Enough cannot be said about the leading international position occupied by this sector.
Please let us bring your attention to the following aspirations and possibilities:
- 1. Strengthen innovation by way of the 'golden triangle', create good links to EU research resources and retain green education and research within the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I).
- 2. Let the government inject an additional 50 million euros into the top sector policy for the green domain (agrofood and horticulture, water and bio-based activities). This will reinforce our international position and contribute to major economic and social objectives.
- 3. Maintain a strong EL&I and an important position for the green domain in the cabinet. We envisage foreign trade to be an integral part of the portfolio of this ministry.
- 4. Retain the vital core tasks of the product boards, one of which is co-organization of funding for private sector involvement within the top sector policy. Let these aspects be managed by a streamlined and renewed public chain organization.
- 5. Have a coherent nature policy which focuses on strengthening the economy, supporting recreation objectives and preserving the desired biodiversity.
Additional stimulus for the green domain is exactly what is needed right now, because food security, modernizing and sustaining food production, and the transition to a biobased economy are top priorities worldwide. The Netherlands is being viewed by many as having an exemplary role.
Our call is also supported by Renée Bergkamp (Product Board for Arable Farming), Wout Dekker (incoming Rabobank board chairman), Daan van Doorn (Van Doorn Committee chairman), Cees 't Hart (AgroFood top sector representative) and Loek Hermans (Horticulture & Propagation Materials top sector representative).
Chairman, Executive Board, Wageningen UR