Guilderland is ending a support program for farmers who switch to holistic farming after one year. The province wanted to support farmers for thirty years, but discovered that the money it wanted to use for this purpose would have to be spent before 2026.
Thirteen farmers started the Farmers for Nature program last year. They will take measures that benefit nature.
These measures included measures such as stopping the use of chemical pesticides, achieving complete self-sufficiency in fertilizers and feed, raising groundwater levels, and not using 10 percent of the land for agriculture. Farmers have already made investments for this purpose in recent months.
The province wanted to support them for thirty years with a €23 million support scheme from the government. But during the development of the program, it became clear that the governorate had overlooked a condition.
The so-called SPUK (defined interest) funds must be spent by 2026 at the latest. It remains unclear how the county could have missed this case, according to a spokesperson. She points out the “complexity” of the rules.
“Long-term certainty is essential for adapting business operations.”
“Agripreneurs need long-term certainty to know that it is worthwhile to adjust their business operations,” answers Rep. Harold Zoet (Agriculture, BBB).
“The government should help with this through long-term compensation.” That's why he thinks it's “a huge shame” that the county had to stop the program.
It is unclear what will happen next for farmers. The governorate will discuss the situation with them.
The available funds now go to other measures to improve nature.
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