Nine farmers’ organizations criticized Wageningen’s report “WUR’s views on agriculture, food and nature”. In an open letter to the Chairman of the Board of Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Sjokji Himovaara, they questioned the university’s independent position.
The organizations criticize the fact that WUR did not involve agriculture in preparing the report. Therefore, there is a lack of practical knowledge, according to the letter’s authors. “What is also striking is that the scientific approach has been chosen and practical research and science play almost no role. So the gap between science and practice is widening.
Moreover, farmer organizations believe that this practice is too easy to overlook in political decision-making. We have seen for some time what this leads to: a theoretical policy that is difficult to implement on the ground. The result: no support from the parties that have to implement it, and a lot of resistance.
Mandatory public buffer lanes are an example of this, according to the organizations. “This results in a significant loss of income for farmers, without proving the effectiveness of water quality in dried clay soils, for example.”
We note that Wageningen is consistent with the role that politics requires of her
WURs also form the basis of so-called orthodontic and strip implants. “We notice that Wageningen is falling in line with the role that politics requires of it. This leads to the growth of resistance within society. In our opinion, the role of WUR should be: independent, fundamental and practical science.”
Focus on research
According to the dissertation writers, WUR should neither be “for” nor “against,” but should focus on conducting research. “Wageningen must independently draw out the consequences of choices and add them to the discussion. Making policy choices is therefore up to policy makers. However, in this report, WUR moves more towards the role of an opinion-forming and policy-guiding organization.”
The nine farmer organizations that signed the letter are the Pig Breeding Producers’ Organisation, Agraactie, the Dutch Poultry Farmers’ Union, Dutch Livestock and Logistics, the Dutch Dairy Farmers’ Union, the Calf Farmers’ Association, the Central Meat Sector Organisation, the Royal Dutch Butchers and the Dutch Arab Farmers’ Union.
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