Holland Inspiration Seminar


Sustainable and profitable livestock farming 2020

Dutch approach of circular agriculture

The Netherlands, as a small country, is worldwide leading in agricultural production (2nd producer worldwide after the US). Other countries often look at the Dutch agriculture sector in amazement. But there’s a darker side to this success story. Phosphates, fine particulates, water quality issues. Dutch agriculture does score high on these wrong lists. At present, excessive nitrogen deposition in our nature is causing big problems for the Netherlands. And farming is the biggest source of this nitrogen.

The answer of The Netherlands to these challenges is circular agriculture – also known as closed-loop agriculture. Circular agriculture isn’t a method, but a mission.

The focus of circular agriculture is on minimizing the use of raw materials through a more closed production cycle instead of focusing on bulk production at the lowest possible price. Sustainable agriculture can help achieve several SDGs, reduce hunger and lead to food security for all.

Four conditions have to be met in order to make circular agriculture a success.

  • Farmers have to be paid a fair price for their products.
  • Value of food has to be higher, so less will be wasted.
  • Encouraging consumers to buy sustainable products.
  • Arable and livestock farmers collaborate for making optimal use of waste streams and safeguard the health of the soil.

If you are interested to hear more about this circular approach in Agriculture and how this fits needlessly into the food security policy of a lot of countries, please join the Holland inspiration seminar on March 10 during VIVMEA in Abu Dhabi.

Erik Smidt
Agricultural counsellor to the GCC