Research by VHL students in Vicosa

Ward van der Zee, Tobias Ruijsch and Robin Diekhorst will travel to Vicosa at the end of October. They will conduct research for 2 months related to the KIEMVANG project between VHL University of Applied Sciences, UFV and two Dutch companies.

Sub-project 1.    Conducted by Ward van der Zee


Market and investment opportunities for Dutch Small and Medium Enterprises in the dairy sector of MG.


Research, knowledge and technology is needed to support the development of circular dairy farming systems, and to increase the sustainability and efficiency of the dairy chain. There is a vast potential for investment by the Dutch and Brazilian private sector in the dairy value chain. However, Dutch sme’s hesitate to invest in the Brazilian market and have difficulties in finding  Brazilian partners. Nevertheless, few Dutch companies have successfully invested in Brazil! What made them to invest in MG, why have they been successful in Brazil, what further prospect do they see, and what are the good practices that can be learned from successful investors for the entire dairy value chain? What are the most appropriate business models for circular-based dairy farming in MG?


The Dutch and Brazilian student will interview Dutch and Brazilian companies and value chain enablers on their experiences with the Brazilian market. They will identify success factors and barriers and describe successful and unsuccessful market entries and collaborations between Dutch and Brazilian companies (sme’s). Furthermore, they will explore the opportunities for Dutch knowledge and technology export and collaboration with Brazilian partners to support  the bio-based and circular economy in the Brazilian dairy value chain?


From VHL we are looking for students from the programmes Agribusines/International Agribusiness and Trade or IBMS in Velp or Leeuwarden.

Sub-project 2.   Conducted by Tobias Ruijsch


Market and investment opportunities for dairy breeding in MG.


Research is needed to identify animal breeding business opportunities in relation to the development of circular dairy systems in Brazil. In this proposal would like to address business opportunities from the perspective of Alfa Genetics, a leading international cattle breeding company. Alfa Genetics has its head office in the Netherlands and in Brazil it has a substantial market share. First task is to investigate the relationship of the long term breeding strategy with circular farming through reducing unproductive periods and choice of production systems in the lifespan of a cow. Second task will be to identify business opportunities for Alfa Genetics (new markets, new investments). What are the most appropriate business models for breeding companies.

Sub-project 3.                      Conducted by Robin Diekhorst


Market and investment opportunities for agro-silvopastoral farming in MG.


The dairy chain develops at the expense of natural resources. Research is needed to support the development of circular systems from the perspective of agro-silvopastoral farming. Agro-silvopastoral dairy farming provides business opportunities through the integration of pasture land with trees, shrubs and forage crops. Financial benefits arise from increase of product diversification and by providing annual and periodic revenues from multiple outputs while reducing risks associated with farming single commodities. For example, trees can also produce fruits, firewood, and timber. Moreover, the agro-silvopastoral system maintain important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, soil health, and groundwater. Silvopastoral farming has been recognised as a genuinely circular approach, where resources are found and developed within the system, and the wastes are utilised to build fertility. The system uptake by farmers also depends on the knowledge and technical skills about agroforestry methods and the trees-shrubs to be planted. The survival rate of the seedlings has been pointed out as a challenging situation. Therefore, the necessity of an effective and efficient planting technology that assures the highest survival of seedlings is an important component of a profitable business model within the agro-silvopastoral dairy farming.

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