The whole chain on the road to a sustainable agricultural and food sector

The Agenda for Agriculture and Food Implementation 2022-2023 is a first important step in achieving the objectives of the Agricultural and Food Policy Framework 2030 in the province of Noord-Brabant. It sets out what the province will work on and what projects and activities must be implemented to achieve the goals of the political framework. Sustainability, health and innovation are central to this.

The implementation agenda has four implementation lines: most sustainable and circular, economically leading, nature and landscape inclusive and society inclusive. Provincial Executive for Agriculture and Food Elies Lemkes-Straver: “Farmers are important to Brabant, agriculture and food are in our DNA. Through these four implementation lines, we support farmers to produce sustainably and remain future-proof. And for that we need the whole chain . “

Healthy food from a healthy sector
The transition in agriculture and the food chain must contribute to a healthy living environment. “Therefore, we must ensure that our rules are in line with this and continue to work to reduce emissions. The basis of the agri-food sector is circular agriculture, where less fertilizer and plant protection products are used. We achieve this by boosting precision agriculture.” Biodiversity Monitor activities that contribute to nature, water and landscape quality and offer an additional revenue model. It has a positive effect on the living environment. We are monitoring this with the air quality measurement points and a new version of the Brabant Care Score for livestock farming. “

Pioneers as the best
Brabant has a top position in agrotech. “We want to continue to stimulate innovation in the sector by, for example, stimulating the cultivation and processing of vegetable proteins. Let Brabant be a testing ground for innovation. For me, there will be 100 start-ups by 2030 And absolutely important: all farmers digitally” It is not just words, because we stimulate it with the help of a Smart Farming Academy. Data is the prerequisite for a sustainable and future-proof sector. Not only for our own business operations, but certainly if it is shared between the various links in the food chain, “says Elies Lemkes.

Nature and agriculture go hand in hand
“By 2030, 15% of agriculture will be organic, and we will have 500 nature-inclusive farmers. These are significant targets, especially when you consider that only 2.7% of agricultural land is now organic. So we need to support that significantly. We do this by offering entrepreneurial coaches who help farmers change, but farmers learn the most from each other, which is why we facilitate 12 inspiring companies who share their experiences with other farmers.
In addition, we are setting up a provincial conversion fund to help bridge the period of income uncertainty during the transition to organic or nature-inclusive agriculture. And a land scheme that farmers can turn to who need land for extensification. In addition, nature-inclusive farmers do not have to meet the housing requirements in the environmental regulation. “

Proud farmers, proud Brabant
“Brabant produces high quality healthy food in an innovative and healthy way. Producers and consumers can also be proud of that! Preferably as short as possible. We therefore call for a shift to more food up close. We draw attention to the agricultural transition in education and stimulate the influx of young people. We need them for the continued existence of the sector, which is why we also want to guide them well with a young farmer’s plan. “

In addition, there is explicit attention on the social side of the transformation of the agricultural and food sector. “Because the transition is necessary, but a transition also hurts, we need to keep an eye on the social side and have support networks available for it.”

Click here to read the Implementation Agenda Agriculture and Food 2022-2023.

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