Melle Leenstra

Profile picture of Melle

Company / Organization / University

Ministry of Agriculture Nature and Food Quality

Role / Title

Agricultural Counsellor to Egypt and Jordan

Bio / Specialization

Currently serving as Agricultural Counsellor to Egypt and Jordan. Connecting Dutch agribusiness, knowledge and expertise to partners in Egypt and Jordan. Business to bussiness, government to government, people to people: diamond to diamond.

Inspired agri-food and development advisor. Passionate about the urgency to co-create sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems. Wageningen trained social scientist convinced of the planetary need for trans-diciplinary applied research. Graduate and fellow of the African Studies Centre at Leiden. Career civil servant and diplomat dedicated to international collaboration and inter-cultural understanding. Father of two girls, inter-dependent husband and thus stakeholder in the women's movement.


Co-creation for research in food security development

With the aim of reaching SDG2 (zero hunger and sustainable agriculture) development agencies have for a long time funded research for development. In the margins of the recent Wageningen SDG conference Melle Leenstra, policy officer food security at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was invited to give his take on the topic of the session entitled “Co-creation for impact: Donors and Knowledge institutions”. »

Smart gender policy

Recognizing the management prowess of women in agricultural family enterprises. Women’s rights, supporting women’s economic participation and female entrepreneurship are priorities on the Trade and Development agenda of the Dutch government. However, how can we effectively support this agenda in a complex sociocultural context in programmes with so many other priorities? »

Sow before you reap

Dutch development policy from aid to trade In 2010, Dutch policy for development cooperation was urged by experts to focus on agriculture as one of the areas where the Netherlands has an international comparative advantage. At the time, this prompted the minister in charge of development to make food security one of the spearhead themes »

Medium-sized, mixed family farms to feed the future: A vision for farming in Africa

Agricultural development programmes have too long focused on semi-subsistence smallholders in an effort to achieve food security. This has not contributed to the African green revolution that is sorely needed to feed the future. We have to aim instead for an agricultural sector based on medium-sized, mixed family farms, argues Melle Leenstra, First Secretary for »