Ministers allocate €500m to clean up livestock farming

Ministers plan to allocate some €500m to buy out farmers who want to quit and to help livestock farmers make their operations more sustainable, news website Nu.nl said on Tuesday.

The plans will be published later this week and come on top of the earlier €180m package to help pig farmers leave the sector, Nu.nl said.

The website bases its claim on confidential sources in The Hague. Much of the cash – some €350m – will go to buy out farms which produce large quantities of nitrogen-based pollution in the form of ammonia in manure and which are located in environmentally-sensitive parts of the countryside.

Ministers hope that provincial councils and the private sector will also contribute to the funding, Nu.nl said.

Last year, Johan Remkes, charged by the government with finding away out of the nitrogen pollution crisis, said the Netherlands needs to take ‘drastic measures’ by reducing speed limits and livestock farming to protect vulnerable parts of the countryside. Pig and poultry farms account for 46% of the nitrogen pollution in rural areas, Remkes said in his report.

Provincial governments, he said, should look at which farms could be eligible to be bought out and closed. In addition, farms should be quicker to introduce technological innovations to reduce manure emissions.

Source:  Dutch News 4th February 2020