Today a large coalition of Dutch and German farmers drove with their Tractors to the Gelderland province capital Arnhem in the Eastern-Netherlands. The German farmers came in solidarity with their Dutch colleages. Hundreds of tractors moved on to the market square next to the Provincial headquarters and the Eusebiuschurch and the Arnhem muncipality building. I interviewed Dutch and German farmers today for a live Facebook report for RTV-Arnhem.
There is a double interest in this presentation, for one, it represents your personal work, whilst the other is a farmers plight. For nitrogen is one of the needed ingredients of fertilizer for crop growth. With this, is the run off that is a natural event of both weather and irrigation for as run off, water as with what ever is disolved will go with it to then join where ever run off goes.
The Netherlands is a low land and with out logical collection basin as a holding container for natural evaporation to occur if at all.
For as above is not enough for sleepless nights, will go also animal poop in the fields that will mix with water as another run off issue. Then, to add to all of above, is the related farm smells that many people do not enjoy whilst in their homes and work place. To then add more to the plate of troubles, is the rising cost of doing business, farming equipment, fuel and electrical cost, labour cost, and a multitude of associated expenses and for all of these, what ever is left over, is for their family.
It needs be fully understood by such regulating authority of the rising plight of the farmer to in stead of creating more issues, to in that stead, provide answers that are real and present. We must eat, and that is what the farming people are trying to produce for us, food..
If you look at the video's you see that the Dutch farmers have turned the Dutch flag upside down, with from top to bottom -blue-white-red-, the Dutch flag is red-white-blue- it is a sign that the farmers are fed up with the Dutch authorities (administration), the Dutch politicians and with the Dutch population (all the people who aren't farmer). Two militant farmers organisations came to life in the last couple of months, from with the Farmers Defence Force ( farmersdefenceforce.nl/ ) is the largest one and Agractie ( agractie.nl/ ) the second largest one.
This image shows the mass protest of the farmers in october in the government city, The Hague.
There is certainly a double interest in this presentation. I showed my personal work, and in the same time showed the interest and actions of the Dutch farmers. What I didn't showed was irritated and frustrated Dutch car drivers (whom highway and road to their job was blocked) who were aggressive to Dutch police officers shouting and screaming, 'get those darn farmers off the road'. Dutch police officers had to tell Dutch city folk, workers, employee's, business people, students and yuppies that they could't take easily tractors of the road, because first of all these tractors don't have a number plate and secondly ordering tractors off the road would cause chaos and dangerous situations. I think that the farmer actions and the response of furstrated citizens will become more fierce and that conflicts might arise in the near future. Fist fights, kicking, smashing windows of tractors or civilian cars. Angry farmers with tractors might drive over police or civilian cars and etc. A mass of thousands of tractors might block food distribution centers and that might cause problems for the food supplies for the super markets. Farmers can survive on their farms, city and town people not if the super markets, butchers, bakeries, grocery stores and market places don't have food and fresh fruit and vegetables anymore.
The problem in the Eastern lands of the Netherlands is dry land due to extenive farming. Due to the market and mass production of Dutch farm production it is a fact that the present Dutch farming is one of the most polutting sectors in the Netherlands. One of the causes are the low prises of meat, diary, vegetables, fruit and other agrarian products. If the prices would go up it would be better for the environment and the farmers. Actually today we pay to little for our food.
There must be better regulations, contracts, deals and negotiations between the farmers, the food processing industries, the food markets, the supermarkets and the authorities. Better and more ecological ways of producing food (a circular agriculture), better prices for farmers, less production (less quantity and more quality), and as a result of that more space for more farmers who produce less, but good quality products. More local and regional production, selling and consumption and less polluting export. The world should go more into the direction of production for the local, regional and national markets and less exports. Karl, you are right that we must eat, and that farmers produce our food. We must cherish and be thankful for the work that farmers do for us. But different ways of farming and more fair prices for farmers would make the sector more clean and environment friendly.
Only products that can't be produced elsewhere should be produced for export.
My self do realize at least for my self, a vested interest in the plight of these demonstrating farmers, but, I do not agree with the destruction of pubic property to prove a point. If to have pubic trust and agreement of what these farmers are fighting for, they must police them selves in good order, but yet make their point with such peaceful demonstrations with the farm machines in good faith.
The following url is a more positive view of farming in the Netherlands that shows their best side of what they have and are accomplishing: