Cor van Oers, the host of the event, first explained the activities of the Biobased Innovations Garden.
Then three speakers introduced different crops to the public. Walter de Milliano, a plant pathologist, spoke about sorghum which is a crop indigenous to Africa.
The next speaker was Terry Barman, who gave a presentation on hemp and the applications of this specific plant that he has developed. He was followed by William Cracroft-Eley of the Terravesta company, who shared his views on the possibilities of miscanthus. Cracroft-Eley coordinates the entire miscanthus value chain. That means he guarantees contracted farmers a certain price for the crop and trades with the customers.
Next was Marieke Bruins of WUR, who gave a presentation on biorefinery. She shared some examples of projects she’s working on and was refreshingly straightforward about the challenges she encounters.
Finally REWIN’s financial specialist Mathijs van Campenhout informed the attendees about funding options for these kinds of complex value chains.
They completed the day with through the Biobased Innovations Trial Garden, where they could examine the three crops discussed earlier (sorghum, hemp and miscanthus). They also had a look at sweet potatoes, quinoa, yacon and much more.
Altogether they can look back on an interesting day filled with biobased crop applications and much interaction.