After working for 30 years as a research agronomist in four continents, Dr Maarten Stapper has become an advocate of biological-organic farming systems.
With experience from the inside, he is a critic of GM technology and current agricultural science paradigm that both strengthen the moribund industrial agriculture as it continues to degrade soil, environment and food.
Maarten is an expert in dryland and irrigated wheat production in semi-arid tropics and developed management guidelines associated with plant and crop development using the Zadoks Decimal Code.
He has been following world food production & consumption and Third World issues for more than 40 years having lived, studied and worked in the Netherlands, Canada, USA, Iraq, Syria and Australia (since 1982)
He has an agricultural engineering degree from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, in farming systems and catchment management in semi-arid tropics.
His PhD was completed with the University of New England (Armidale), Australia, on wheat production systems, linked crop physiology with agronomy and daily weather in simulation modelling.
Maarten was employed by the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) at Aleppo, Syria, where he did his field work.
From 1983 to 1988 Maarten worked at CSIRO, Griffith, on irrigated wheat and introduced irrigation scheduling, a nitrogen fertilizer calculator and the first crop monitoring program for farmers to support their management decisions.
He then moved to CSIRO, Canberra, to work on dryland wheat systems and the management of high-yielding irrigated wheat, which led him to the principles of biological agriculture.
Maarten loves cooking and is worried about food quality. He advocates least refined and processed, wholesome, nourishing traditions.
Maarten's hobby is tracing family history back to the 17th century in Holland, Old Zealand, Frisia and Utrecht. He lived in the Middle East, with a strong interest in the history of Mesopotamia, and is a frequent visitor to India.