‘Relation of Demokwekerij Westland’

Each month we have a rubric in our newsletter: ‘Relation of Demokwekerij Westland’. In the rubric we ask clients, relations, visitors and/or users of Demokwekerij Westland for their opinion and movements to work together with Demokwekerij Westland.

This month; Frank van de Helm of Hogeschool InHolland

Can you give a short description of the company you work for:
The education Horticulture and Agribusiness of InHolland was created from the Higher horticulture school, which was situated at the Brasserskade, and before that in Dordrecht and Utrecht. An education with a long tradition, which has found a space within the discipline of Agri and Life Science of InHolland; a much bigger and broader school. This offers good possibilities for innovative ideas and less obvious cooperation’s; like the development of a drone scout in the greenhouse by aviation students.

What do you think about the role of Demokwekerij Westland concerning the newest developments in the Dutch horticulture sector?
I think that the Dutch horticulture sector benefits from a wide offer of research possibilities and that Demokwekerij has a good position within this. What I like a lot is the strong interaction with business life. Also the demonstration of technical products is a nice billboard for the Dutch horticulture suppliers.
Frank vd helm
How long does InHolland and their students research at Demokwekerij Westland and what are the movements to become a participant? InHolland already rents long term facilities at Demokwekerij for practical education, I don’t know exactly how long. The education is not really big and getting our own greenhouse and maintaining it is much more expensive than renting it. for a few years Demokwekerij and Inholland are doing projects/tests together. It turned out that, for students but also for the teachers, this is a nice way to learn and it also contributes to solutions for questions and innovations in practice. This gives extra motivation with the students, and the students receive extra speciality knowledge from the business live and the costs can go down, a win-win situation.

How do you see the developments with the new to build Demokwekerij building?
I haven’t seen much yet about the new building, but the artist impression of the plans look good. It’s a shame that it’s further away from me, which means I need to cycle further.

Have you got a nice anecdote/ funny occurrence?
Once a group of students gave a presentation at the end of a trial they have done together with Demokwekerij, the presentation was really bad, though the tests were done well. Jeroen Sanders (researcher at Demokwekerij and helped the students) told them that the presentation was bad. A year later these students were there again for a different test and the presentation was good. Its nice to see that one bad presentation has been a really important learning moment.

New Participant at Demokwekerij: Inno-Agro

From the beginning of 2016 Inno-Agro is a participant of Demokwekerij Westland. Inno-Agro is already a familiar company at Demokwekerij, they rented an office in the building and there was already a steady cooperation with Inno-Agro, by becoming a participant the cooperation has become even stronger.

Stefan Persoon tells about Inno-Agro and why they have become a participant: A chrysanthemum lifting system of Metazet, a new generation of lamps from Hortilux and a few cultivation gutters from Formflex. That was what was exhibited at Demokwekerij in the year 2000.  With a group freesia growers I was there as the first ones and was immediately hooked. So I quit my job and started at Metazet under Leo van Adrichem. Peet, Leo and I started to have a lot of brainstorming sessions with enthusiastic growers. It wasn’t off course all talking, a lot has been developed (at Metazet) and tested in a practical surrounding (at Demokwekerij).

Meanwhile we are 16 years further and in 2008 I have started Inno-Agro, and since then we rented an office space at Demokwekerij Westland, a unique place. In that time a lot has changed and luckily we have always been able to play in on these changes and were able to start a healthy company. At Inno-Agro I work together with Joel van Staalduinen and Debby van Kester. But now it’s time to tell something about what we do: Inno-Agro is an innovation broker in the horticulture sector, where we bring the grower, supplier, researcher or developer together. Hereby our accent lays strongly on the content of managing innovation projects. We make sure thoughts are expressed, but even more important: that the project is taken care of! As innovative as the Dutch horticulture was, nowadays people are really careful. Which is justified because a lot of innovation projects go wrong by the way it was put up.

The last participation meeting I saw a lot of participants with good products and ideas. Let’s stay in contact with each other, because by making the right combination between product knowledge, knowledge of the project and the right network we can all get further together. And thereby we can arrange support in the form of grants, because only last year there was three-quarter of a million on grants. But I’m always saying: First the idea and the motivation, the rest will follow!

Inno-Agro is:   Initiating innovation  /  Project management  /  Finance  /  Strategic advise


A lot of new research at Demokwekerij Westland

A large amount of the 41 research departments of Demokwekerij Westland are in use at the moment. After a quieter winter period (usual because of the dark days)

A big number of the new researches are focused on crop protection. The research is done and commissioned by producers of crop protection means. In these researches new control strategies are tested on a large amount of various pests in a large amount of crops. The emphasis of the crop protection tests lays more often on ‘Green chemicals’. With green chemicals we mean crop protection means with no chemical origin. Because these sort of means have a different working mechanism than chemical pesticides they need to be applied in a different way. You can think hereby about preventive applications, combinations with natural enemies or a different spraying volume and application moments. This all asks for new research for knowledge.
gewasbeschermingsdagenNext to green chemical for the crop protection we see more and more the question about application possibilities of Bio stimulants. With these products, often based on biological substances, the crop development, yield and taste of crops can be optimized. At Demokwekerij Westland various researches are done where the effect of these bio stimulants are tested.

A lot of attention lays on the subject of cultivation optimalisation at Demokwekerij Westland. New cultivation gutters, light strategies and fundamental CO2 research are subjects which are under attention. These researches are sought by growers associations, breeders and manufacturers of technical systems. Horticulture students from InHolland (HBO) and Lentiz (MBO) are giving support with these researches.

So far the update about these months researches…

Training and practical days at Demokwekerij Westland

Companies, schools and knowledge institutions know how to find Demokwekerij Westland for training and education within the horticulture sector. For Dutch people, but also for groups outside the Netherlands Demokwekerij Westland organises training days with regularity about cultivation and cultivation techniques. The content and period is established with consultation with the group; the period could vary from half a day to multiple days or weeks, and sometimes even a few months. The content is mostly about the crop, the cultivation and the needed cultivation technologies like: water technique, cultivation systems, logistics, light, warmth technique, crop protection and climate.

In the first two months of 2016 we have already created various interesting programs like:

  • Practicum days for Lentiz MBO2 about cultivation and technique
  • Training days about water technology and crop protection for HBO students
  • 2 training weeks for a Chinese delegation of agriculture institute Henan Zhengzhou City
  • Horticulture workshop for Clusius college from Hoorn,
  • A one week training for Gansu university from China.

Clusius College
On Wednesday 10 of February Clusius College from Noord-Holland was on a horticulture study visit at Demokwekerij Westland. For the group a special lesson program was put together, existing from an extensive tour past all the technical appliances and various workshop rounds. The students worked in groups during the workshops, they were asked to bring into map the water circle for vegetables, flowers and plant nurseries, they needed to think about how to equip a whole cultivation department, and they were asked how they see the greenhouse of the future.

Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (China)
From 23 till 29th of February Demokwekerij Westland received a delegation from China for a training program about climate control, crop protection, tomato cultivation, greenhouse constructions and cultivation technology. In cooperation with Lentiz course and consult this training program was created with a combination of theory, practicum and various excursions. Through this way we want to thank the following companies for receiving us: Van der Knaap Honeywell, Priva, Holstein Flowers, Kwekerij Zwethlande and Boal Systems.



Demokwekerij Westland provides various national and international educational, practical days and training programs for students, horticulture entrepreneurs and employees. Are you interested in what you read here? Do you have a question or idea and can we do something for you? Please contact us at 0174-385600 or info@demokwekerij.nl