Dutch minister calls for sustainable farming
Dutch Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg has ambitious
plans for the sector. She said that livestock farming in the Netherlands must
become more sustainable by 2023.
"In the coming 15 years, the animal production sector needs to cut down
on ammonia and dust emission," said Verburg. This can be done by introducing a
new type of housing for example. The Minster also wants a stronger focus on
animal health, access to light and improved living and transport
The bulk of materials for animal feeds should come from
Europe to minimise feed product imports and to help ensure sustainability
standards, the ministry said.
Verburg, the Dutch livestock sector is on an important crossroads. The period
after the Second World War was focused on increased production, resulting in
environmental problems and animal diseases in the 80s and 90s. "Now is
the time," Verburg said, "to focus on quality instead of quantity".
Minster will discuss her visions this year with farmers, suppliers, processing
industry, the supermarkets and social organisations. To make the changes happen,
she wants to use different tools such as subsidies, taxes and education.
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