What to expect from the Final Conference of SalFar

01 March 2022 - Published by Laila Dam
Presentation of surprising test results, a keynote speech by Marcel Beukeboom from the Dutch ministry of agriculture, nature, and food quality, panel discussions, excursions to two open field labs and much more.

Tuesday, 5 April

The programme contains, next to a general introduction to the SalFar project, an overview of our surprising test results by WP4 leader Prof. Henrik Aronsson, Head of Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg.

Soil conditions are of course an important factor for farming in general. Prof. Åsgeir R. Almås, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, will share his findings on how to deal with salinization under various soil conditions.

Would you like to know how this all works in practice?


Photo: Researcher Carina Rietema informing about winter wheat and potatoes at SPNA's open field lab  

Highlight of the day will be the excursion to the open field labs in our region: The first visit goes to SPNA Agroresearch, where a mixing station in combination with underground drop irrigation simulates salinization in clay ground. Here is the place for field experiments with crops like potatoes, onions, sugar beet. Researcher Carina Rietema will guide you through the test fields and tell you the story of her salt tolerant seed potatoes.

Furthermore, the SalFar lead partner, the Province of Groningen, invites you to visit the unique open field lab “Double Dyke” at the Ems-Dollard coast, where you can watch experiments with ancient sorts of crops, like broad beans or oats which used to be cultivated along the coast before dykes were built. There is also space for aquaculture, making use of natural flooding with the saltwater coming in from the North Sea through a tidal culvert. An innovative entrepreneur is experimenting with a circular shrimps’ project: small shrimps which usually are thrown back into the sea by the fishermen should grow up there to normal size.


Photo: Entrepreneur experimenting with a circular shrimps’ project at the open field lab “Double Dyke” at the Ems-Dollard coast

Wednesday, 6 April

Now that you have seen the test fields, we would like to share with you our vision on what to do with the products coming from saline soils.

Post doc researcher Thayna Mendanha from Aarhus University, Denmark will lead you through the world of “Unique food from saline agriculture”. Dorte Storper from the Danish farmer organization SAGRO will tell us more about business models for eco-innovative food production. Louise Krogh-Johnson, business development manager from the Food & Bio Cluster Denmark (FBCD) will introduce the “Toolkit for quality measurements of saline farming, the specially designed “North Sea Region Brand” for sustainable food production and, finally, the “Guide for Saline Food”, a recipe book with brilliant ideas on how to prepare a delicious ice plant soup, a sea fennel salad or a karkalla (beach banana) chutney.

Next up is an analysis of policies concerning saline agriculture across the North Sea Region and the EU in general. Anne Asselin de Williencourt, anthropologist and policy analysist from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NMBU, will present her findings. This will be a good base for the panel discussion of various stakeholders in the afternoon.


Keynote speech by Marcel Beukeboom


The keynote speech of the day will be hold by Marcel Beukeboom from the Dutch ministry of agriculture, nature, and food quality. His Excellency, Marcel Beukeboom is the permanent representative of the Netherlands to the FAO, United Nations. His is a leading voice in climate change and adaptive measurements for food security.

A new initiative of the Dutch ministry of agriculture, nature, and food quality is The Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP). Frans Verberne and Sabrina Kraaienberg-Doetjes will share their views on “Saline Water & Food Systems Partnership - a Dutch initiative to increase impact”.

After lunch, there will be an exciting panel discussion of the future perspectives of climate adaptive agriculture with professionals from various fields: Frank Ahlhorn from the Waddensea Forum will exchange his views on a sustainable and future orientated Wadden Sea Region with Robert Caudwell, UK, farmer and president of the European Union of Water Management Associations, Simkje Kruiderink, expert for saline agriculture from the Dutch ministry of agriculture, nature, and food quality, and Peter Prins from the knowledge platform “Zoet-Zout Knooppunt”. Bas Bruining from “The Salt Doctors” will contribute with his experience in training farmers and increasing yield in saline fields in developing countries. The discussion will be moderated by climate expert Prof. Pier Vellinga.

We will conclude the programme with the presentation of the “Inspirational Guide for Saline Farming” (IGSF) – a practical handbook for those who have become curious and want to know more about saline farming, a direct user’s guide for farmers and entrepreneurs who want to try out innovative and sustainable methods of farming to adapt to climate change and to save the planet for future generations. The IGSF will be available in all the six North Sea Region languages.


See the full programme here and fill in this form to register for the conference.