Cooperation on the outlook for agriculture

Because perspective is essential to achieve good agreements in the current area processes. Farmers play an important role in really starting the transition. The provinces see this report as an important building block for the agricultural agreement.

The agriculture and food sector is important to the Netherlands in several respects. The sector is crucial for the landscape, the quality of life in rural areas and the Dutch economy and innovation climate. But the current way of working also causes damage to nature and the environment. In the future, the sector must remain financially sound and contribute to the (rural) country’s broad prosperity. At the same time, the sector must produce in a way that ensures a healthy living environment (nature, biodiversity, air, soil, water and climate). To achieve this, the government must make difficult choices together with the sector. It requires a clear framework, sufficient support and a proactive government.

Grab the future

According to the provinces, the key issue is that entrepreneurs must be able to make investment decisions. Based on the trust that they can also earn a healthy life in the future. This is essential to achieving results. It requires clarity from the government. Clear goals, space and support and, above all, an eye for new revenue models.

Clear goals

It is currently not clear to farmers “where things are going”. What do entrepreneurs need to consider and what choices are involved? According to the provinces, clear targets are needed at different levels. Measures of the environment and climate alone are insufficient. The values ​​of agriculture for landscape and ecology, social cohesion, food production and economy deserve a more prominent place in the NPLG and the area’s processes as far as provinces are concerned. A socioeconomic test is also part of this. It is the national government’s turn to formulate a national vision for the sector. The provinces are asking the government to do this together with the sector. There is also a need for clear concepts, prerequisites and KPIs.

Space and support

Entrepreneurs need space to be able to participate in the area processes. Physical space, space in provisions and support. Much of that help lies in offering the right conditions. For example: making it possible to adapt and make a business more sustainable in terms of space, changing restrictive laws and regulations or financial support for extensification. Provinces can play a significant role in this. But the national government can also give a big boost to the regional process. Through workable and directly applicable rules and a feasible timeline.

Chain approach

Agriculture can only become sustainable if a farmer can also earn a living. Only then will there be room to invest in the future. Farmers must therefore have a fair price for sustainable performance. It is up to the market to develop these models within the government’s conditions. At the same time, the government can help by, for example, enabling new sources of income, creating a new market for sustainable products and providing long-term security about, for example, sustainability goals. The consumer also contributes to the transition.


The social challenges are great, and we must move towards a different agricultural system that is less stressful for the living environment. Innovations play a role in this. Innovation cannot solve all problems, but it contributes. In this way, the provinces will link to the innovation power in the agricultural and food chain, including suppliers of equipment and (food) resources, and stimulate innovation (and export of knowledge!) more than before, e.g. creation of an innovation fund.

Agricultural agreement as a basis for taking action

The provinces welcome an agricultural agreement with broad support and cooperate wholeheartedly with it. Everyone makes an important contribution to that agreement based on their role or responsibility. Provinces play an important role in area processes. It is the government’s role to create the right conditions. The chain has an important role to play in innovation and necessary business adaptations. As mentioned, this report is an important provincial building block for the agreement.

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