Teaming up for manure valorisation and healthier soil

On 24 April 2019, all Mineral Valley Twente partners signed the partnership agreement; Twence is one of those proud partners. With the help of a long-term programme, the first trial plots that have already been set up and sufficient funds, Mineral Valley Twente in the coming years hopes to unite the right partners in this field to improve soil health and close the mineral cycle. Between them, these partners have everything that is needed: practical experience, regulations, research and education.

Mineral Valley Twente

“By 2030, Twente will be at the forefront of soil optimisation and manure processing in Europe.” That, according to Chairman Wim Meulenkamp, is the aim of Mineral Valley Twente. “In the coming years, we will make the transition to a circular economy, creating hundreds of jobs and a sustainable agricultural sector in the region of Twente. We are dedicating our joint efforts to measures that will close the mineral cycle as tightly as possible and to improve soil health. Such measures are within our grasp, but we can only accomplish these plans if government authorities, research institutes, educational institutes, organisations and businesses all pull together.”

Healthy soil
Plenty of organic matter in the soil means higher crop yields. Moreover, we can prevent damage to groundwater and surface water due to minerals leaching away or running off. “Mineral Valley Twente wants to retain the minerals from manure and use them as raw materials for agricultural land in the region,” Wim Meulenkamp explains. “Soil with plenty of organic matter, a good structure and plenty of life has much better water retention. Twente does not have a natural supply of water, so it’s crucial that the soil absorbs and holds water well.”

From ‘waste’ to raw material
Mineral Valley Twente connects stakeholders in the food production chain so that, together, they can improve soil health in Twente and convert manure and other biomass streams into usable raw materials. Achieving those ambitions will require plenty of commitment and innovation and more leeway in regulations and policy.

Agreements on collaboration
Chairman Meulenkamp is an alderman of the municipality Hof van Twente and, along with other Economic Affairs portfolio holders in the 14 Twente municipalities, is involved in founding Mineral Valley Twente. He will have a seat on the foundation’s board. As of now, Alderman Erik Volmerink will chair the steering group: “I’m very pleased that our hard work and dedication have brought Mineral Valley Twente this far. We have launched a long-term programme, set up the first trial plots and obtained funding. Now, it’s important that the partners reinforce the partnership and make solid agreements on how we should cooperate and how we should execute this project. Mineral Valley Twente was set up at just the right time and has now matured. Between them, the partners have everything that is needed: practical experience, regulations, research and education.”

A driving force
The partners are the driving force that brings the relevant parties in the Agro & Food sector into position. Mineral Valley Twente has made the results from the trial plots available to entrepreneurs. By sharing knowledge and experience, we can work together on smart solutions to improve soil health and make manure a valuable commodity.

Together, the partners are setting up forty trial plots as a practical basis for the development of a circular agriculture. “The trial plots are important for testing new problem-solving approaches in actual practice,” Robert van der Aa of ForFarmers, explains. “We’re happy to support these developments.”

Stay informed!
We are happy to keep you informed of developments, the progress of the various trial plots, and the field excursions, which are open to all interested parties. If you have a suggestion for a trial plot, or if you would like to take part in one of the trials, let us know at!