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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

What the Netherlands can teach us all about food security

In an age of rapid population growth and increased fears about food security, much can be learned from the Netherlands, this Bloomberg video suggests (watch, runtime: 05:16). Concerted efforts after the Second World War saw the Netherlands transform into one of the world’s top agricultural exporters. With limited space, the tiny country learned to produce vast quantities of food on small land plots. A policy of land consolidation implemented by the government was designed to maximize production, and was complemented by state funding into research and technology. This spurred a proliferation of specialist greenhouses that could cover the area of Manhattan if put beside one another. This only increased after the discovery of the Groningen gas field in 1959, which offered a further boost to greenhouse horticulture.

Fun fact: So effective has the Dutch strategy of water reduction in farming been that some farmers can grow a kilo of tomatoes using just four liters of water, while the global average is 214.

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