Heleen Lansink’s perspective: two scenarios | Agraaf.nl

Because the government has not written a perspective letter for agriculture, we have invited people to do so. Today is dairy farmer Heleen Lansink’s perspective. “We must work towards a food agreement.”

Best agricultural sector in the Netherlands.

The long-awaited perspective letter is finally here. If the politicians don’t do it, then we have to do it ourselves. And that will be the red line of this letter. What we need to keep producing food within ecological limits.

As the Netherlands, we have a unique situation where we have an agricultural sector that fits into the large inhabited metropolis of the Netherlands. We farm in the city’s backyard and can thus fulfill more wishes than just food production.

The proximity of green areas is becoming increasingly important in a country as dense as the Netherlands. There are options and opportunities there. I will paint you two scenarios. One in the short term and one in the long term. At the end of the day, we should not be working on an agricultural agreement, but we should be working towards a food agreement, which we will conclude in 2030, so that we still have time to work towards it.

KPI system

As a first short stroke, we will work with a KPI system. Urgency is needed to take a big step as soon as possible towards an agricultural system where we not only have safe, sufficient and affordable food, but where greater social challenges are added. Biodiversity, circularity, clean water, clean air are the additional values ​​we need in food production.

Via an already available KPI system, we can quickly make great progress in this, so that we quickly get ‘space’ again and the steam can escape from the pressure cooker. We set the value of the critical performance indicators to achieve the social tasks. This means, for example, that the water board can think about how low a N-soil surplus must be in order to add value to it. Or the green lots must determine the NH3/ha limit value. We appreciate the goals to be achieved.

For the farmer, this means that income no longer consists entirely of the end product food, but that we value these values ​​separately but integrated to create a rapid movement. Money still acts as a quick stimulus in our capitalist system. And there is a significant pot of money ready to use money as a means of movement.

Nutrients

That is the perspective for 2030. Because after 2030 we can probably start thinking about what a food agreement will look like. This means that for each region an estimate can be made of how many nutrients it needs for its population, now and in the future. Naturally, much attention is paid to the shift from animal to plant-based nutrients.

If you know how many nutrients an area needs, you can also determine how much of that can come from the region. And then we also have to ensure that these nutrients remain in the region to be able to create circulars. Together with a large part of the prevention budget from the health sector, a region can set about mapping the demand, so that the farmers in the region can adjust their supply accordingly. If you know what is required, you can also make long-term investments. In the future, we see that access to food may well determine how vital a region can remain.

Helen Lansink-Marissen

Heleen Lansink-Marissen writes a monthly column for the Vee & Gewa website. Together with her husband Rogier, she has a dairy farm in St. Isidorushoeve, a village in Haaksbergen municipality (Overijssel). Lansink-Marissen sees herself as an independent connecting farmer who likes to engage in dialogue on various topics. She does this through a vlog, blog and also lectures and guided tours in her company, but even more outside. She can also be followed on Twitter: @HeleenLansink.

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