October 16, 2019

ForFarmers suggests alternate approach to Dutch nitrogen challenge



ForFarmers mineral specialists are working with other companies to cut nitrogen emissions through feed solutions, the Dutch feed company said on October 14.


ForFarmers' statement came in response to recommendations made by an advisory committee concerning the nitrogen problem in the Netherlands. The committee is led by Johan Remkes, the acting Dutch Mayor of The Hague.


"(Farmers) decided to make their way to The Hague to make their voices heard. There appears to be huge support for the farmers from society," said ForFarmers, noting several "uncertainties" in a proposed approach by the government to deal with the country's nitrogen issue.

"Minister (Carola) Schouten from Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality published the proposed approach for the nitrogen problem on Friday, 4th October. We note that the Remkes Committee's recommendation to introduce area-specific measures has been adopted."


However, these measures appeared to cause "unrest in the sector and, in particular, among farmers," ForFarmers claimed.

"There is a lack of clarity especially in relation to whether or not to take up production rights (for animal and phosphate rights) when applying external balancing, skimming ammonia space during external balancing and not being allowed to use previously licensed ammonia space when applying for new permits," the company elaborated in a press statement.


"This, among other things, underlines the importance of the discussion - about how to arrive at sustainable solutions for the Netherlands as a whole and for our sector in particular - being conducted based on generally accepted facts."


ForFarmers said that it will work on a "targeted advice in the field of stable design" as well as focusing on projects for manure use.

"We are going to bring these types of solutions to the Minister's attention. We are convinced a broader approach, focused on the preservation of our sector, (and) with respect for the farmer and his livestock, can lead to the desired results," ForFarmers added.


The company will also work with AgriNL and Nevedi, "in order to realise the greatest possible impact."

AgriNL is an initiative in which large companies from the agricultural sector work together on projects with agricultural and horticultural organisations. According to ForFarmers, it has taken the lead with this group to determine a common position regarding the nitrogen problem and to propose a strong, solution-oriented approach to Minister Carola Schouten.

"Both technological innovations and feed solutions can help to limit the nitrogen emissions and therefore need to be more expressly included in the approach. This is an area to which we continue to devote all possible efforts," ForFarmers said.


- ForFarmers