University of Twente Student Theses


Alternative farming practices and the potential contributions towards a bio-based economy : case study of Dutch dairy farming practices

Asambo, J.A. (2017) Alternative farming practices and the potential contributions towards a bio-based economy : case study of Dutch dairy farming practices.

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Abstract:Global developments such as European Union environmental policies, growth of the bio-based economy, the increase in energy prices, the increase in sustainability demands and the continuous growth of the dairy sector, demands a second consideration into current dairy farming. One key issue for sustainable development is the establishment of a bio-based economy. The bio-based economy can provide energy in the 21st century just as fossil-based economy was to the 20th century. To achieve this, agriculture will be core to the bio-based economy as a major supplier of raw materials (feedstocks) for commodities like liquid fuels and value-added products (such as chemicals and materials). “For example, a hectare (2.47 acres) of biomass crop converted to 16,800 L (4,450 gallons) of ethanol at a cost of USD 0.13 /L (USD 0.50/gallon), grown on 20Mha 950 million acres) of non-prime agricultural land would, along with domestic petroleum, enable national self -sufficiency in gasoline” (Hardy R.W.F, 2002 p.11). Agriculture will at the same time continue in the production of its core objective i.e. food and feed, that are even more healthy and safe. This thesis, analysis the current Dutch dairy production practices and its potential of being a major feedstock supplier to the bio-based economy. The main research question is; Is it possible to combine food production with feedstock production for the bio-based economy in Dutch dairy farming and if yes, what adjustments are needed in the current farm routines and processes? Based on an extensive literature review, a theoretical framework was constituted by the researcher for approaching the complexity of the research questions. Although the Dutch Dairy sector is one of the leading in the world in respect to milk production, the sector is also faced with residues (manure, crops) management challenges. The bio-based economy provides a fantastic opportunity for the Dutch dairy sector to convert these residues into feedstocks to feed the bio-based economy. This can be done through the adoption of a new production route that incorporates feedstocks production with food (milk), while simultaneously benefiting people, planet and profit (for business). The Dairy Campus farm was studied to know the process flow of inputs (feed intake) and outputs and recommendations made based on the scientific literature reviewed from different sources.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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