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Dr Jacobus Andriesse obituary

Dr Jacobus Andriesse obituary

Publicado el: 26 - enero - 2017

ICRA director 1987-1992 who took pride in building and expanding an interdisciplinary and international institution.

Dr Jacobus Andriesse – known to us all as “Co” – made a long-lasting impact on ICRA during his five years as director. To the wider world he wrote a thought provoking book in diary format on his challenges as a development worker. He passed away at his home in Wageningen, the Netherlands, on 22 January, 2017.

He started a long career in rural development in Indonesia and Malaysia, where he developed a deep expertise in the soils of Borneo and a lasting love of the local Dayak culture. He also lived and worked in Swaziland and Iran. Returning to live in the Netherlands after 18 years, he then spent 15 years working on low input farming systems research projects in China, Sri Lanka as well as Malaysia, Indonesia and other tropical countries.

Co joined ICRA in June 1987, towards the end of his career - although that was not evident from the energy he brought with him. He immediately set about expanding ICRA from the original course in the Netherlands to a broader centre which included a second office and francophone programme in Montpellier, France, from 1990. Explorations were made to add a third programme in Latin America, which prepared the ground for ICRA’s later work in the region.

He took pride in building up ICRA as an interdisciplinary and international institution. He used to say that joining ICRA was a revelation for him and he considered the programme innovative, and far different from his previous experience as a researcher. He saw his job as turning ICRA into a solid institution, making the centre more professional and financially sustainable, for the benefit of generations to come. He retired in March 1992, handing over the directorship to Jon Daane.

We remember Co as a lovable man, who was tough on the outside, but soft on the inside. He never failed to help his staff professionally and personally, and retained his interest in ICRA long after his retirement. We much admired his determination to start a new career as an author, after attending a creative writing course well into his sixties. This resulted in the fascinating book “Verstoorde aarde”, a romanticized version of his own 40 years’ experience as a soil scientist in development work.

He is survived by his wife Gerda and a large family. He will be missed.

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