LTO’s Tineke de Vries acknowledges that there is a land shortage in the Netherlands. But according to her, farmers also need more space to develop and to cultivate more nature and organic farming, as the European Union wishes. De Vries therefore believes that the possibilities of enlarging the Netherlands through land reclamation should be seriously explored, as in the past.
“Why don’t we do what we’ve been doing for centuries: add more soil!” De Vries does not think of the Wadden Sea, but of the North Sea. “Land reclamation at sea is not only good for agriculture, but also for housing, recreation and nature.”
“The farmer is part of the solution”
The Dutch Arable Farmers’ Union (NAV) states in a response that it does not take into account the great importance of food production in the advice of the planning office. NAV thinks it’s time to start a fundamental discussion about the great importance of food production in your own country.
The two farmers’ organizations believe that the fertile agricultural land in the Netherlands must be preserved for agriculture. “The farmer is not the problem, but part of the solution,” says De Vries. “On farmland you will find grassland birds, in solar parks and in the city, I don’t see them. Farmland is also very important for water management.”