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Inspiring exposure visit on sustainable farming for Mozambican delegation to the Netherlands

17-11-2022

As part of the Orange Knowledge Programme in Mozambique titled “Promoting resource smart green technologies in technical professional and higher education, to increase Mozambique’s food production and nutrition security”, representatives from the Mozambican partner organizations visited the Netherlands for an exposure visit.

The participants came from the Manica Province in Central Mozambique and representing the higher education institute Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica (ISPM), the research institute Instituto de investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM) and TVET Instituto Agrário de Chimoio (IAC). During this visit, they interacted with staff from all the Dutch partners in this project: Maastricht School of Management (MSM), Q-Point, Yuverta and Delphy, learning about the expertise of the organizations and getting exposure to sustainable agriculture and sustainable farming practices.

An inspiring and packed program
The visit started at MSM in Maastricht, where the group discussed topics and best practices related to Quality Assurance for Higher Education and Career Development, with project consultant Ms. Liliana Bedoya and Ms. Hermina Kooyman, Manager Enrollment and Career Services at MSM. Next day, the groups was welcomed by Mr. Marcel Creemers and Mr. Cor Wijnands, from Yuverta in Horst aan de Maas. Besides learning about the role of Yuverta in the educational system in the Netherlands, there was an introduction about the project “Agro Leeft”, in which all kinds of initiatives are developed to promote cooperation between vocational education and business society in the region of Greenport Venlo for a mutual benefit. The fact that business community feels partly responsible for the content of the educational programs was a real eye –opener for the participants about how academia and the private sector can collaborate. Furthermore, the staff from Yuverta organized visits to a strawberry glasshouse owned by Thwan van Gennip and the dairy farm Mark van Lipzig. The farms are used as internship companies, where student can increase their vocational practical skills coached by the farmer and the college. On both farms the delegation was extensively informed about the collaboration between Yuverta and the companies.

Climate sustainable farming
The delegation visited Wageningen where project partners Q-Point and Delphy are located. At these partners the delegation received more information about climate sustainable farming. Q-Point experts Mr. Carel Jaspers and Mr. Mark Bos shared their knowledge on the topic and the group visited an organic farm (Landgoed Velhorst) and the dairy farm and cheese producer Remeker. Landgoed Velhorst (Lochem, Gelderland), this estate is owned by  Natuurmonumenten and the >80 hectare farm is managed by Arjan and Winny van Buuren. The farm is managed in climate sustainable way by means of implementing nature inclusive and regenerative arable farming methods. The basic principle of this farming method is that the focus is on the preparing and preserving a health soil (feeding the soil, not the plant) and increasing biodiversity (both plants and insects). 

Remeker has switched to regenerative dairy farming over 20 year ago. Remeker is farming with Yersey cows. The cows are managed in such a way that all they need for production and health is provided via products that cows can also find in their natural environment (grass, and hay products from grasses, no mais silage, herbs and plant extracts for minerals, vitamins etc. All the milk produced is processed on farm into cheese and all products are sold in the own farm shops and to restaurant.

Both business models of the farm, growing, processing and market all products (>20 crops van Buuren and Remeker cheese) themselves, has been discussed extensively and potential of implementing the farming method in Mozambique has been assessed.  The visitors concluded that the principle of  managing the soil in such a way that the soil takes care of the plant has high potential for some agricultural sub-sectors in Mozambique in terms of becoming less depending on artificial fertilizers and chemical plant protection products. 

In Bleiswijk, the group visited the Delphy Improvement Centre. The exposure trip ended with a visit to Floriade, the world horticultural exhibition, held every 10 years in the Netherlands, where additional to the inspiring exhibition, a general lessons learned session was planned with the delegation. The group appreciated very much the opportunity to visit this special exhibition. 

A valuable experience
The participants gained many new insights to take back home to Mozambique and implement in their own institutions to strengthen their agricultural programs, research and education. The delegation evaluated that is was a stimulating and valuable exposure visit where they could share experiences, learn from their partners and the Netherlands regarding higher education, market relations and sustainable farming.  It was also a special opportunity to strengthen their own collaboration and ties as partners working together for their region.

About the project
This project is managed by Maastricht School of Management and Q-Point in the Netherlands in collaboration with Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica (ISPM) in Mozambique, and promotes resource smart green technologies in technical professional and higher education, to increase Mozambique’s food production and nutrition security. Within this project MSM forms a consortium with Polytechnic Institute of Braganca (IPB), University of Lisbon – School of Agriculture (ISA), CITAVERDE bedrijfsopleidingen, Q-Point B.V., CESO Consultancy and Delphy B.V.. The Mozambican partners and beneficiries include Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica (ISPM), Instituto de investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM) and Instituto Médio Técnico-Profissional Agrário de Chimoio (IMTPAC).

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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