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Our Western agriculture system is rotten according Jan Oversch (Netherlands)
Gardening & Agriculture Gardening & Agriculture General

Let us together ensure that the environment is tough again

The entire agricultural system is focused on 'more, bigger, cheaper'. The rudder must be drastic. Bad news these days. After soil, air and water pollution, black manure, fipronil, phosphate overrun, tampering with roadside verges, manure fraud now this again.

Is this the drop that makes the bucket overflow? For a long time you have read and see the consequences for the environment, soil and water as a result of our way of farming. Willens and knowingly farmers are being raised by the Wageningen UR, banks, dairies, breeding organizations, agricultural media and feed buyers to push the boundaries further towards mega agriculture.
Mr. Jan Oversch feeding pigs

Mr. Jan Oversch

Smelling the farmer

We were always called and called: more, more efficient, bigger and cheaper. The Netherlands must feed the world! Also politicians from Dutch political parties; CDA, VVD and D66 can benefit from this. Customers hardly pay the cost price. By milking the farmer he thinks that expanding and intensive farming is the only way to survive, at all costs.
Dairy plants such as the Dutch FrieslandCampina are now facilitating this and 'rewarding' only large farmers with, for example, solar panels or even manure digesters. All this to secure the high productions and low cost price for their raw materials and to chain farmers even further in favor of their own profits.
We were always called and called: more, more efficient, bigger and cheaper. The Netherlands must feed the world! Not at all: because of this way of thinking, agricultural land that is not worth ten thousand euros in agricultural economics will be sold for up to 120 thousand euros. This gives you an even more intensive processing and overuse of the soil, with exploitation and landscape pain as a result.

The rat race continues

For a long time the boundary of permissible has passed, the rat race still continues. Inherited recipients such as banks, extensionists, feed, fertilizer and poison sellers continue unrestrained with the encouragement of farmers with serious consequences for the environment, water and soil, arable and meadow birds, bees, partridges, ants, etc. Is this bankrupt of Dutch industrial agriculture? Is it now visible to everyone that it must be done differently?

Apparently not: agricultural media, politics and inheritants already attempt to dismiss it as a mistake, 'it is also so complicated'. They want to maintain and evoke the mega-farming industry: what are your farmers doing well? The Netherlands is the second exporter of the world. They argue for the preservation of Roundup and neonicotinoids. They forget to tell you what is at the expense.

There must be a totally different way of thinking, both in politics and in agriculture itself

The current intensive, non-soil-based agriculture, in which a lot of feed is imported and after which meat, dairy and eggs cross the border again for 80 to 90 percent, has been running against its borders for some time. The excess manure remains in the Netherlands and goes into a digester or incinerator. This manure is valuable raw material for the field in Verweggistan where the feed is grown. There must also be any stables, regional production. This also has serious consequences for the environment, soil, water and biodiversity. And the control can not be done, as has long been shown. New scandals will follow.

What has to happen? Who dares to look further? There must be a totally different way of thinking, both in politics and in agriculture itself: the system must be turned upside down. A totally different board. The current boards only look at short-term returns and stimulate intensive non-land-based agriculture. Agricultural organization LTO seems to be a representative of the supply industry. LTO, like agriculture, will have to make a big difference.

Schools and knowledge institutions also play a role. They make young farmers familiar with mega-intensive farming right from the start. Provincial and municipal authorities also play a role. In their spatial planning and zoning plans, there is a lot of space for large-scale mega-agriculture.
Then there is the retail, which only hits a drum: 'The lowest price', or: 'Now even cheaper'. That message is instilled in the consumer. This way the citizen is sucked into the system.

Take responsibility

Consumers can take responsibility by choosing different food. Consumers are also covered. They can take responsibility by massively choosing different food, organic food. The organic way of production enables the farmer to work in harmony with nature and with the earth. Land-based agriculture: do not keep more animals than you can grow food on your own land. The feed of the land goes to the animals, the dung of the animals goes to the land. All this without poison and artificial fertilizer and no dragging of animals.
It is the only way to control sustainable food production where our offspring is not presented for the pollution caused by ancestors. For example, citizens and farmers jointly take responsibility for healthy food supply.

More varied landscape
A cow in a meadow with Hans van der Broek on the background

Mr. Hans van der Broek, WhatsOrb

The organic farmer also creates a much more varied landscape, where flowering grasslands, herb-rich fields and beautiful wood gables are given a place again. Where there is place and feed for meadow birds, mammals, bees, butterflies, etc. A landscape where life is good. This is also much nicer for the farmer. He can enjoy himself again in his profession. The farms are becoming more balanced again. There is a future for our children's children.
Together, let us ensure that the environment becomes tough again, and not the mega stalls. Nature works perfectly, but we always destroy her. Treat nature as your friend: you do not poison it.

By: Jan Overesch