Agro-ecology and plant breeding
CRISPR: facts and feelings
The CRISPR/Cas9 system has made precise genome editing much more easily attainable and has already been shown to be able to significantly speed up plant breeding. With this technology, it is possible to develop crops that are potentially more resistant to disease, drought or salty soils faster than using more traditional breeding methods. Can we use CRISPR to help feed a changing world? And if so, how can we do this in a responsible way?
In our presentation, we will give an introduction about CRISPR. What is this new technique? How does it compare to more traditional methods of breeding? After this more factual introduction, we would like to explore the feelings of the public on this subject and have an interactive discussion about its benefits and dangers. How do you feel about the use of CRISPR in agriculture?
Why I don’t want to feed the world
As a peasant, I am working together with the WUR to conduct research on the question how to enhance the income of peasant farmers, stimulating the local economies, e.g. via Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Together with Esther Kuiler, I have set up a course on Agroecology in Practice, aimed at people who want to start an organic garden and make a living out of it (e.g. via CSA).