Farms in the province of Groningen will be investigated to find out how farmers can become (more) green
Translated by Lena Kilina
As reported by RTV Noord, the research in Groningen is one of the seven pilots that will be carried out throughout the Netherlands. The northern trial consists of three agricultural collectives that will participate in nature and landscape management, including the Groningen West and Midden Groningen groups.
The farmers’ voice
“We want to investigate how we can interest as many farmers as possible in going green,” states the project leader of the Groningen West collective, Liesbeth de Haan. Since there are farmers who are already involved in agricultural environmental management, only some, but not all farmers, have to do it one-to-one. ‘Think of it as a kind of ‘light’ variant.’
‘I have the impression that lots of farmers want to participate,’ says Freek Nieuwenhuis, chairman of the same collective. He says that this is not only because of the compensation for going-green farmers: ‘It is the awareness that we have to farm differently and that society demands different things from us today.’ This time, Groningen West want to focus on maintaining wood grids and ditches, as well as meadow bird protection.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the research goes in line with the EU’s new common agricultural policy (CAP), which will come into force in 2022 or 2023. The new policy calls for more efforts from farmers in terms of the environment, climate and biodiversity.
However, only those farmers who want to become green are qualified for the full payment entitlements from Brussels. The others will receive less funds: a performance-based discount of 30 to 40 percent.