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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