The nitrogen supply that the cabinet has devised is expensive and does not help nature further. Give the farmer space to create an attractive and varied landscape.
We all live in a crowded country. We want enough space to live, recreate, nature, activity and an attractive landscape where we produce enough safe food, after all our first necessity of life. This collides and the whole thing has been locked inside for about three years.
To solve this problem, the Cabinet has devised a rigorous approach that, together with the climate approach, will cost at least 16,000 euros per household of four people in the coming years. A total of 60 billion euros. But will this approach also help nature further? And do the Dutch want this policy?
New. I want to explain why. This extremely expensive approach of acquiring agriculture on a large scale, whether forced to do so or not, ignores the knowledge that many more factors, such as moisture and soil conditions, have a major impact on the quality and development of nature. In addition, much of the reduction in nitrogen will again be filled by economic growth and air traffic with the additional negative consequences, such as noise pollution and visual pollution.
The Remkes Committee, the Hordijk Committee and the Environmental Assessment Agency have stated in councils that it is not possible to exchange ammonia and nitrogen, that the current Aerius calculation model is not suitable and that nitrogen precipitation in itself does not say anything about the state of nature. No calculation has even been made as to whether it will help nature at least to spend these billions of your money.
Why is the government ignoring these messages? Due to overriding economic interests that must continue at the expense of farmers and nature.
How can we solve this? Agriculture can and will make a major contribution to this. Over the past twenty years, we have already reduced nitrogen emissions by more than 65 percent through various initiatives. And we can halve emissions again with new technical methods. It is more than seven times cheaper than buying up farming families, and we continue to produce safe and affordable food in this time of war crisis and sharply rising prices. Good for the citizen’s wallet.
In addition, farmers who stop within the next ten years want to make a contribution, and there are farmers close to a Natura 2000 site who will move voluntarily to another location. Because we understand that emissions must be reduced and that there must be (nitrogen) room for housing construction and other economic development.
However, there are some questions that need to be answered. Will we as a society accept that in a crowded country with almost 20 million inhabitants and all economic activities we can not naturally maintain certain pieces of ‘desirable nature’ created by ourselves according to the book? That this can sometimes be done better in the many areas of Europe where population density is much lower and it does not continue to lead to collisions? Do we also make room for a vital agricultural community that has room to ensure an attractive landscape and can produce safe and affordable food with a minimum of emissions?
We argue for realistic, sustainable nature with an eye to the natural enrichment process in a fertile delta that in many areas is ‘Europe’s drainage drain’. In addition, there is plenty of room for an attractive and varied landscape with ‘peasant nature’. Give the farmer financial leeway to maintain this.
It involves choices other than those currently being made by the government. For in the present way, The Hague decimates the peasants in record time in favor of other interests. This also accelerates the scale increase; after all, only the strongest and largest companies survive. And we are deprived of any perspective and job satisfaction with the current rate of redemption and impending expropriation.
Bart Kemp is chairman of Agractie Nederland and sheep breeder in Ede (Gelderse Vallei).