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The Dutch government has defined a core vision based on strategic objectives to future-proof the agri & food and horticulture sectors in the Netherlands and ultimately around the world, the : a shift to sustainable agriculture.

Food production must be environmentally friendly and economically viable, that is if we want to be able to meet the global demand for food today and in the future.  

The Netherlands has defined important goals for 2030, aligned with the United Nations sustainable development goals. We aim to contribute to the global efforts in alleviating hunger and malnutrition by:

  • Increasing production of high quality and nutritious food (SDG 2) 
  • Doubling the productivity of eight million farmers worldwide (SDG 8)  
  • Bringing eight million hectares of land under sustainable management (SDG15) 
  • Promoting responsible use of raw materials and consumption (SDG 12) 

The above-mentioned goals are also defined in the Dutch government’s policy for foreign trade and development cooperation (BHOS report: Investing in Global Prospects) The results in mind are:

  1. Better earning capacity for farmers, growers and fishermen;
  2. Significantly less harmful impact on soil, air and water;
  3. Restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. 

This greenhouse has become more energy efficient with the use of LED lighting. 

Key challenges 

Addressing key challenges that the agriculture & food and horticulture sectors face in achieving the abovementioned objectives is of global importance, and requires strong collaboration: 

  1. Promoting sustainable agri & food production  
  2. Reducing food waste  
  3. Increasing production of high quality, safe and nutritious food (SDG2) 
  4. Greener cities and promoting biodiversity  

Example of a floating greenhouse, located at FloraHolland’s location in Naaldwijk.

Knowledge exchange on sustainable food production  

 

The Netherlands has a pioneers position in developing innovative solutions for smart agriculture techniques. The acknowledgement of the interconnectedness of water, food, and energy is crucial in the future of food production. The Water-Energy-Food Nexus is a term commonly used to describe this. Synergy between the sectors is essential to meet the Gulf region’s food demand for the future by producing food in an environmentally friendly and economically viable manner.

Although great developments are already initiated, holistic solutions from the Netherlands for producing food locally in a region with unfavorable climate conditions, involving water-energy-food simultaneously, can be of great use for further ensuring food security

in the Gulf. Individual governments in the region have launched initiatives to focus on ensuring food security through various means, and are doing great efforts to become more self-sufficient. Currently investment in local food production is an ongoing trend that allows for the integration of the latest innovative technologies, helping to partially displace reliance of food imports and keeping in line with food security strategies for the region.

This is exactly where the Netherlands and the Gulf Region can join forces. A gradual shift from exporting food products to the Gulf Region, to exporting knowledge and technologies that will help increase sustainable local food production in the region fits in the current government policy of the Netherlands as well as of the Gulf countries. Knowledge exchange on sustainable food production not only of regional, but of global importance to reduce environmental impact caused by food production.

Van den Borne Potatoes is an example of innovative, high-tech farming in the Netherlands. It is one of the largest potato producing companies in the Netherlands. The cutting-edge agricultural firm uses innovative technology such as drones and other high-tech machinery to maximise their crop production. More info here.

The Westland region – situated between the Hague and Rotterdam – is well-known for its high concentration of the greenhouses, giving it the nickname Glazen Stad (Glass City). The region is home to a part of the Netherlands’ flourishing horticulture industry and is a world-leading hotbed of innovative agriculture and horticulture technology. The Westland produces vegetables, fruits and flowers year round, much for global export. It also hosts the world’s largest flower auction.

Food Programme

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