By Michelle Steggerda, MSc Organic Agriculture Wageningen University
From March till July 2015 I’ve done my internship at the research institute Alterra. Alterra is part of Wageningen University and Research Centre and specializes in the ecology, the spatiality and the governance of green spaces. My assignment was to conduct a research about the future perspectives for farmers in Amstelland, a peri-urban but still predominant agricultural area located south of Amsterdam. This was part of a larger project for the Wageningen UR Science Shop on behalf of the civil society organisation Stichting Beschermers Amstelland. Continue reading
Amstelland is a traditional meadow landscape, dominated by dairy farming, and framed on three sides by the cities of Amsterdam and Amstelveen. The vicinity of the city offers threats and opportunities for farmers in Amstelland. The area is intensively used for recreation.
Citizen organisation Stichting Beschermers Amstelland (SBA) is concerned with the future of the area. SBA presumes that preservation of the landscape is connected to economic sustainability of the farms. For that reason SBA is interested in the strategies of farmers towards diversification and pluri-activity. A number of farmers already have added multifunctional activities to their conventional farm. Most farmers are member in the environmental cooperative De Amstel and take agri-environmental measures. Some farmers have started a B&B or sell products on farm. The peri-urban situation leads to high land prices, slowing down opportunities for farm enlargement. As a result, more farmers are likely to consider diversification and pluri-activity as an alternative strategy.