Improved Nutrient and Energy Management through Anaerobic Digestion

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    INEMAD focused on innovative strategies for reconnecting crop and livestock production. INEMAD addressed the following question: which new methods and  arrangements should be developed to restore recycling within this specialized context? The leading principle throughout INEMAD was a triangular enlargement of the traditional farming systems with a "processing" system. Processing is proposed as a third system to link crop and livestock production with the goal of increasing agricultural productivity while reducing external energy input and closing the nutrient cycle.

    Research approach
    We analyzed new energy and material flows within the agriculture industry sector (or linked with the agriculture sector) and have explored new opportunities for re-thinking the relation between crop and livestock production. Building on stakeholder knowledge and experience, we inventoried farming and processing systems, based on which we presented and further developed innovative strategies, both on the level of nutrient management and on a processing level. We identified needed interactions between the systems to effectively realize new strategies, and  we screened the institutional framework to detect potential legal constraints for the innovative strategies.

    INEMAD has delivered technical and economic knowhow about how farms and food processors can adjust their management to close nutrient cycles in a sustainable and competitive manner. Through judging the impact of different policy instruments on the behavior of farms and the sector as a whole, this project also delivered important insights for policymakers. In this way, the study reveals which policy interventions may be efficient and effective for more sustainable use of nutrients and ease implementation of new strategies. Interaction with the stakeholders throughout the lifetime of the project helped us unravel the influencing factors for implementation (or the lack of implementation) of these innovative strategies.
    Effective start/end date1/04/1231/03/16