A delegation of 5 professors from the Ion Ionescu de la Brad University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Iasi (USAMV) and the Agricultural expert from the Regional Development Agency in North-East Romania have visited VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL). Together with professors and lecturers of the domains Animals & Business and Food & Dairy the goal of the week has been further creating a living lab on fruit, dairy and manure from a multi-point intervention involving multi stakeholders.
Last February the same VHL delegation visited USAMV. The challenges in fruit, dairy and manure in North East Romania are taken as point of departure.
This week’s programme started with identifying the collaboration aspects of the North East region of Romania to which USAMV belongs and the Northern Netherlands region to which VHL belongs. Accessing EU and national funds is point of departure in order to develop innovative ideas into research and education actions.
Manure has been identified as an issue in Romania in which expertise and experience from Northern Netherlands particularly from the business sector and from VHL can play a meaningful role to create innovation in Romania. It is about storing manure, processing manure into high value products including green energy, a manure bank and eventually about sustainable manure management practices.
The dairy sector in Romania is lacking organization among farmers, within the value chain and among other players. The Dairy Campus and Dairy Training Centre approach gives interesting ideas to develop this sector in North-East Romania. A possible development of these practical training centres will also tackle the need for vocational institutes in Romania. For rural youth this may be an entry point to find a meaningful working environment in the rural area.
The fruit sector in Romania is not only lacking collaboration within the value chain and among farmers but also at technological level there are options for improvement. A very special aspect is the business model of multi-functional farms. This includes education, agro-tourism, short value chains and care farms a.o. This type of business models is particular relevant for small scale farms in Romania. Experience of The Netherlands is extremely useful.
This visit has been a beautiful example of working together between universities, appreciating each other’s cultures and developing trust among each other. All involved staff of both universities are driven by values of sustainability: people and planet. These are important ingredients of a long term relationship on project and programme level between the two universities and with other stakeholders in both regions.
We are looking back on a very successful week and are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation.
For more information, for example on possible exchanges, internships, theses, please contact Nellie van der Pasch (IDM, Velp), [email protected]