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Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in the Netherlands

image of Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in the Netherlands

The Dutch food, agriculture and horticulture sector is innovative and export oriented, with high value-added along the food chain and significant world export shares for many products. Continuous adoption of innovation has permitted to reach high levels of productivity and sustained productivity growth, in particular at the farm level, in a context of increasing environmental regulatory constraints. The challenge is whether marginal improvements in current technologies and know-how will be enough to pursue current rates of productivity growth – sustainably – and whether the innovation system will be able to generate the new ideas that are needed to face future challenges, including those linked to climate change.

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Overview of the food and agriculture situation in the Netherlands

This chapter describes the overall economic, social and environmental context in which the food and agriculture sector in the Netherlands operates, and the natural resource base upon which it relies. It provides an overview of the general geographical and economic characteristics of the Netherlands; outlines the share of the agri-food complex in the economy; identifies the main structural characteristics of primary agriculture and upstream and downstream industries; provides an overview of the main food and agriculture outputs and markets; and analyses the main trends in agricultural productivity and sustainability. It finally raises a number of issues the agri-food complex is likely to face in the future.

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