• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Netherlands, 2nd in the World in Exporting Food--And they go about it very differently than the US  RSS feed

 
Nicole Alderman
garden master
Posts: 1815
Location: Pacific Northwest
297
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur cooking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ran across this facinating article. It goes into great detail on how the Netherlands is the second highest exporter of food in the world, second only to the US (and the us has 270 times the landmass as the Netherlands). Greenhouses take up 36 square miles of land--bigger than all of Manhattan. Food is grown with less pesticides and water, and grown in closer proximity to the city. They use no GMOs. Aquaponics is also utilized.  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/09/holland-agriculture-sustainable-farming/


"A farm atop a former factory in The Hague produces vegetables and fish in a self-sustaining loop: Fish waste fertilizes plants, which filter the water for the fish. Local restaurants proudly offer the veggies and “city swimmers.”"


"Weather is little worry for farmers in Westland, where 80 percent of cultivated land is under greenhouse glass. The region accounts for nearly half of the Netherlands’ horticultural production."

It's not exactly permaculture, but it is a whole lot better than the factory farming of the US!
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1506
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
104
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The link that you have doesn't go directly to the greenhouse article, it goes to a link to subscribe to National Geographic, but also links to this, which I assume is part of the article: 
In a potato field near the Netherlands’ border with Belgium, Dutch farmer Jacob van den Borne is seated in the cabin of an immense harvester before an instrument panel worthy of the starship Enterprise.

From his perch 10 feet above the ground, he’s monitoring two drones—a driverless tractor roaming the fields and a quadcopter in the air—that provide detailed readings on soil chemistry, water content, nutrients, and growth, measuring the progress of every plant down to the individual potato. Van den Borne’s production numbers testify to the power of this “precision farming,” as it’s known. The global average yield of potatoes per acre is about nine tons. Van den Borne’s fields reliably produce more than 20.

That copious output is made all the more remarkable by the other side of the balance sheet: inputs. Almost two decades ago, the Dutch made a national commitment to sustainable agriculture under the rallying cry  Since 2000, van den Borne and many of his fellow farmers have reduced dependence on water for key crops by as much as 90 percent. They’ve almost completely eliminated the use of chemical pesticides on plants in greenhouses, and since 2009 Dutch poultry and livestock producers have cut their use of antibiotics by as much as 60 percent.


“Twice as much food using half as many resources.”
  I had to underline this.  it's a noble goal.. but...

It would be interesting to see what sort of resources went into producing all those greenhouses and hydroponic and aquaponic systems, as well as what they are doing with all the water that is shed off all those roofs.  That one photo makes me think of a very urban situation with a high run-off of rainwater.  I could be mistaken; they might be making use of it.  You are right to say that it is not exactly permaculture, the care for the Earth ethic might be a bit out of whack, but it's not like I don't have a greenhouse [ ], but it is very innovative, and impressive that they are able to create such a volume of produce in such a small area, with a reduction in both chemicals and water while at the same time recycling nutrients. 
 
Gilbert Fritz
pollinator
Posts: 1412
Location: Denver, CO
28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
second highest exporter of food in the world, second only to the US


By value, or by bulk? If it is the second, that is extraordinary. If the first, it is more understandable; they probably export mostly vegetables, which have a much higher cost per pound then America's exports of staples.
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1506
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
104
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Imagine if each of those greenhouse also had an outdoor aquatic system of equal size with carp, snails, freshwater clams, wild rice, and catttails which fed off the roof water.  The area might be twice the size it is now, but it would produce a lot more food, with almost no extra inputs.
 
Jarret Hynd
Posts: 109
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gilbert Fritz wrote:
second highest exporter of food in the world, second only to the US


By value, or by bulk? If it is the second, that is extraordinary. If the first, it is more understandable; they probably export mostly vegetables, which have a much higher cost per pound then America's exports of staples.


First thought that came to my mind aswell.

---

Aside from that, I have a few dutch friends, and yes, they seem to do things vastly different over there. Their education system is something to be admired or how they have so few prisoners that they turn Prisons into Hotels.

What I'm interested in after reading that article is all their super-produce they breed. Just after a quick search, it looks like they have a lot of subsidiaries in many countries.

---

Since relocating and restructuring their 70-year-old farm in 2004, the Duijvestijns have declared resource independence on every front. The farm produces almost all of its own energy and fertilizer and even some of the packaging materials necessary for the crop’s distribution and sale


Hopefully traditional North American farmers will say the same thing sooner than later.
 
Nicole Alderman
garden master
Posts: 1815
Location: Pacific Northwest
297
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Roberto pokachinni wrote:The link that you have doesn't go directly to the greenhouse article, it goes to a link to subscribe to National Geographic, but also links to this, which I assume is part of the article: 
In a potato field near the Netherlands’ border with Belgium, Dutch farmer Jacob van den Borne is seated in the cabin of an immense harvester before an instrument panel worthy of the starship Enterprise....


Yeah, that was the article I was linking to...I just didn't quite know what forum it best fit in, so I posted it in a bunch of different ones (small farm, large farm, organic and Europe), but with greenhouses as its "primary" forum, mostly because there was so much about greenhouses in the article. But, I'm still not quite sure if that forum was the best fit I'll happily switch it to a different forum if you think it fits better!
 
F Van Roosbroeck
Posts: 18
Location: Belgium
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thing about agriculture in the Netherlands (as well as Belgium) is that it's very  oriented towards dairy on the one hand and vegetables/fruit/flowers on the other. Not so much bulk carbohydrates (not since the sixteenth century or so). It's a type of agriculture that goes well with the property structure (many smallish holdings and part-time farmers, fair amount of family farms), but it's the result more of different response to market pressures than a real alternative to American-style megafarms.
 
Bryan Beck
Posts: 21
Location: Western Oregon
2
chicken forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gilbert Fritz wrote:
second highest exporter of food in the world, second only to the US


By value, or by bulk? If it is the second, that is extraordinary. If the first, it is more understandable; they probably export mostly vegetables, which have a much higher cost per pound then America's exports of staples.


It is by value.  Lots of high value products exported including veggies. 
 
F Van Roosbroeck
Posts: 18
Location: Belgium
5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wonder if re-exports have been included in that figure. Rotterdam is one of the largest ports in Europe, and global supply chains being what they are, there's bound to be a large amount of fruit and vegetables arriving and then being further distributed. Nearby Antwerp, for instance, is the world largest port for both coffee and bananas, even though Belgium is not exactly known for its tropical plantations.
 
Jon Butts
Posts: 36
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been thinking a lot about the recent article in the National Geographic and feel it's just more of the same human assault on nature. No trees no ecosystem, just a giant food factory. True a small greenhouse on a small farm or connected to a holistic house could be considered permaculture.  
 
duane hennon
gardener
Posts: 776
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
45
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I seem to remember one of the goals of permaculture is to be super productive
so that humans will use less space to feed ourselves and leave more land to the other creatures
building productive growing spaces on top of already human usage is stacking functions and very permaculture
the obsession with avoiding plastics and the grid is also an obsession with avoiding reality



http://www.greenmatters.com/news/2017/09/14/1VjrDI/egypt-sk-city

Egypt's New Farm City Will House 50,000 Smart Greenhouses

Egypt and South Korea are teaming up to build a large agricultural complex that’s full of renewable energy and smart greenhouses. The new city will be located in Egypt near the Mediterranean shore. With the massive growth of middle-class consumers coming into the country over the next decade, this new area will provide a wealth of sustainability.



The Egyptian Government has created Vision 2030, which features developmental plans that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals among the United Nations. These SDGs involve numerous issues that are hoping to be fixed by 2030, such as increasing clean energy and water, lowering carbon emissions, and much more.

Egypt is dealing with many issues, such as high birth rate, limited water, discrimination, and migration that stand in the way of achieving their sustainable goals. They will have one of the fastest growing middle-class markets according to Ogilvy, and this new city would provide a sustainable solution for the boost.

 
Lee Kochel
Posts: 26
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The Netherlands also exports a lot of vegetable seeds which command a premium.
 
john mcginnis
Posts: 69
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The real value of what the Dutch are doing is the land substitution that is occurring going to CEU ag. If the potato farmer can yield 5x as much product that is 4 units of land that could be utilized as permaculture or parks or nature preserves.

Industrial ag does not get my attention only because it eventually has to flat line and fail. The use of GMOs concern me most from a legal perspective. The pesticide use due to its long persistence is also a problem (glyophosphates like Grazon). Super weeds are already cropping up resistant to some of the weed suppressants. The continual ratchet affect of the need for more and more inputs ($$$$$) will force many megafarms to look for other solutions. 
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 578
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
67
bike dog forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Living in the Netherlands I can tell you this article is probably a big promotion campaign for Dutch (industrial) agriculture products. The 'city of glass' in the Westland has nothing to do with permaculture. Yes, they produce lots of tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables ... but at what cost (for energy: lights and heat on all the time; for covering all land with greenhouses)?

Using less pesticides than before is not the same as organic. In my opinion this only means they used much too large quantities of chemicals in the past.

The photo shows a greenhouse on top of a building in The Hague. But this is only one example, a rare one. Most greenhouses are on the ground in a region between the cities (Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam) and the North Sea coast.

The Dutch gouvernment and the EU subsidise this industrial agriculture. I don't understand why, if it brings in such an amount of money ...

Probably they also counted the income from exporting imported (tropical) products through the harbour of Rotterdam. And don't forget the flowers (called 'agricultural products' too, aren't they?)
 
Hey! Wanna see my flashlight? It looks like this tiny ad:
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23442/digital-market/digital-market/Underground-House-Book-Mike-Oehler
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!