Dutch researchers invite pig farmers to set new R&D agenda

Dutch pig farmers are being invited to help devise their industry’s research and development future, with the aim of ensuring the country’s pig sector secures a leading position in terms of global production.

The invitation for farmers to write their own R&D programme comes from the country’s Swine Innovation Centre (SIC) at Sterksel which endured massive staff cuts and budget problems one year ago, but which is now seeking to establish a new development platform.

“We are currently building a multi-annual research programme, designed to fit pig sector demands regarding sustainability and profitability,” said SIC’s manager, Theo Duteweerd, adding that innovation is key to the future success on the industry.

Getting the right research programme for the future, he continued, meant working with all interested parties, with farmers being the most important of all within that process.

“Farmers must be able to use the results we produce,” he said, “some in the short term and others on a longer term basis. Whichever it is, support from the pig sector is of major importance if we’re to have a successful research future.”

Dutch pig farmers and business partners have therefore been asked to send their R&D ideas to SIC for innovation managers to analyse and sharpen into achievable projects.

“This approach will help restore a dynamic quality to our research and innovation and therefore to the pig sector in general,” said Mr Duteweerd (pictured above). “We believe that every question deserves a valid answer.”

SIC (Varkens Innovatie Centrum – VIC in Dutch) is part of Wageningen University

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