Towards a new balance for agriculture and nature | News report

News item | 20-09-2022 | 15:20

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) will start work on a number of major tasks in 2023. These are difficult, uncertain times for farmers, gardeners and fishermen. Dutch nature must be restored and strengthened. It requires a new balance. We are working on a future where farmers, gardeners and fishermen can earn a living by producing good and sustainable food within the limits of nature, the environment and the climate.

Creating a balance between agriculture and nature requires radical choices. The recent turmoil and the many conversations that have taken place show that farmers need clarity above all else. A new balance also requires a new revenue model. The farmer’s position in the chain must be strengthened. Everyone has a contribution to make, from farmers and government to all parties who supply and buy products from farmers, such as feed suppliers, processors, banks and supermarkets. This will be further elaborated in the coming period.

Make agriculture, horticulture and fishing more sustainable

In 2023, a total of 340 million euros will be reserved in the current budget of the LNV for support aimed at making livestock farming more sustainable and reducing nitrogen deposition through various voluntary cessation schemes.

For technical innovation, LNV proposes components in the grant modules for sustainable stable and management measures (Sbv) also in 2023 Open; €29 million has been earmarked for this in 2023. Livestock farmers can use this to develop innovative techniques and management measures and then apply them more widely. This should result in a reduction of ammonia, methane, odor and particle emissions, which will also benefit biodiversity. Emphasis is also placed on improving animal welfare and fire safety.

To future-proof the fishing industry, €181 million is available in 2023 – as part of a total budget for the coming years of €444 million – to achieve a smaller, more sustainable and more diverse fleet.

A budget of 77 million euros is available in 2023 for greenhouse horticulture and resilient plants and cultivation systems. A large part of this is intended for subsidies within energy conservation and sustainable energy in greenhouse horticulture.

Area-oriented approach

In 2023, the area-oriented approach in rural areas will also be central. Areas in the Netherlands differ enormously from each other and the state of nature, soil conditions, water quality and nitrogen precipitation also differ from area to area. It requires adaptation. Therefore, the government works together with provinces, municipalities, water boards, entrepreneurs and site managers in an area-oriented approach to programs to achieve the goals in the areas of nitrogen, water quality, soil, climate and biodiversity. The approach is described in the National Program for Rural Districts and consists of both national and area-specific measures.

In cooperation with local parties, the provinces prepare coherent area programmes, which must be ready by 1 July 2023 at the latest. All sectors contribute proportionally to the nitrogen reduction tasks, so in addition to agriculture, industry, construction and mobility also contribute. Targets have also been set for this.

Transition fund rural district and nature

In addition to existing resources, 24.3 billion euros are available up to and including 2035 in a Transition Fund for a coherent approach to nitrogen, water and climate and agricultural transition in rural areas. To meet the provinces already in 2022 and 2023 and to speed up the approach, 504 million euros have been made available to get started as soon as possible.

A coordinating organization has been established to support central government, provinces and local governments in the transition to future-proof agriculture and a vital rural area. In addition, Ecological Supervision was launched on 19 September 2022 to advise on broad ecological issues.

PAS detectors

The Cabinet is making €250 million available by 2023 for the legalization of PAS notices. With these resources, provinces can take action to reduce nitrogen, creating nitrogen space for entrepreneurs with PAS reviews to obtain a nature permit.

Investment in nature restoration

In 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality will continue to work together with many other parties to protect, restore and strengthen nature. This will be done by speeding up the realization of the Dutch nature network and by implementing the Nature Program for natural areas that are sensitive to nitrogen. In 2023, 300 million euros have been made available for the Nature Programme. Part of this is the Nature Inclusive Agenda, to give nature a place not only in rural areas, but also in the city and society as a whole.

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