Press release Book launch "Tot de bodem": ILVO hopes for a thorough societal debate

Book cover Tot de bodem

Today the book 'Tot de bodem: de toekomst van de landbouw in Vlaanderen' edited by historian Maïka De Keyzer and published by Universitaire Pers Leuven, is published. What challenges does agriculture face and how can the sector continue to evolve towards a sustainable and socially just future? The publication attempts to formulate an initial answer to this central question and to help structure the social debate. ILVO contributed to the book with chapters on biodiversity, water and participation.

In 12 chapters and contributions from no fewer than 27 experts, the challenges, opportunities and possible future models for Flemish agriculture are formulated. Several of the 27 authors are affiliated with ILVO, the Flemish government's independent knowledge center for agriculture, food and fisheries. ILVO researchers Frederik Gerits, Lies Messely, Bert Reubens, Sarah Garré, Jeroen De Waegemaeker and Maarten Crivits contributed to the chapters on biodiversity, water en involvement in agricultural policy.

In our contributions to the book 'Tot de Bodem' we share our scientific knowledge and thus help feed the social debate on the future of agriculture in Flanders. From ILVO we appreciate the active interest of all authors in the sector and the initiative of editor Maïka De Keyzer to let different voices have their say.
Joris Relaes, ILVO's Administrator-General

Participation and involvement of farmers is a must

ILVO's mission is to help make agriculture in Flanders more sustainable and conducts scientific research from various disciplines into the embedding of the sector in society. ILVO applies a strategy in which system thinking, integration of knowledge of the field and innovative working methods and technologies are central.

Cooperation and dialogue with farmers is crucial for ILVO. Not only do we involve farmers in practice-oriented research, it is also necessary that farmers have a clear voice and can be heard without prejudice in the public debate. The debate must therefore be conducted to and from the ground. Only through support, involvement and respect is sustainable change possible.
Joris Relaes, ILVO's Administrator-General

On the occasion of its 90th anniversary, ILVO organized a four-day knowledge festival in September 2022. This also included room for dialogue and debate. The study day 'Farmers of the Future' concluded with an interesting conversation between the farmers, (food) companies, researchers and policy makers present. Read the report (in Dutch) “De boerenstiel? Veel opties voor de toekomst”.


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Greet Riebbels

Communications manager at ILVO