Second farmers’ meeting in Bollaertbeek
At the end of February the Belgian Action Lab held its second farmers’ meeting. This meeting was combined with a phytolicense training, which guaranteed a large attendance of farmers active within the Action Lab.
Elien Dupon of Inagro started the meeting with a brief outline of the project and its objectives. Ingrid Keupers of De Watergroep, the local Drinking Water provider, presented their water production and the challenges they are facing in the nearby drinking water production centre at Zillebeke. Last summer, water samples were taken at various locations in the Bollaertbeek catchment and analysed to assess the presence the plant protection products. These results were presented by Ingeborg Joris of VITO. In the subsequent discussion groups the results of the water analyses were discussed with the farmers and other stakeholders present.
After the break, Dirk Baets of Bayer Crop Science presented the results of a water protection project carried out in 2010-2013 in the drainage area of the Grote Kemmelbeek, a nearby catchment . He emphasized that point pollution and diffuse pollution from rainfall run-off were the main sources of water pollution in the Grote Kemmelbeek. After this presentation, there was an interactive survey: all famers present received a voting device to indicate which mitigation measures they already applied at their farms and which new measures they considered to be feasible.
After the presentations, the farmers were invited by De Watergroep to a guided tour at the nearby water production center at Zillebeke.
Watch the interviews
Ellen Pauwelyn: “Little measures can also make a difference”
Ellen Pauwelyn (INAGRO), Action Lab leader of the Bollaertbeek talks about the impact of easy mitigation measures
Young farmer: “We are willing to do efforts, but there should be compensations”
A young local farmer in Bollaertbeek talks about WaterProtect in the Bollaertbeek
“A multi-actor project that wants to have a real impact on the ground”
Piet Seuntjens (VITO), Project Coordinator of WaterProtect