The Netherlands is the third exporting country in the world for agro-food products behind the USA and France. Taking into account the small cultivated land surface per inhabitant and the high population rate, this result brings respect. Such a result is obtained with a high technical knowledge and a high production yield both for soils and for farmers. But it also depends on the high rate of agricultural raw material imports as fodder for instance. These imports helped develope a remarkable intensification in the animal breeding i.e. the industrial livestock breeding (pigs, hen).
production yield Intensity
The Dutch agricultural model is traditionnally an example of liberal economy. The market organization and particularly the "auction sale system" (the dial sale), gives a better sight on the market situation and helps develope concurrency. But the Dutch farmers stick strongly together and created numerous agricultural cooperatives. These cooperatives deal with 60% of the Dutch market. As any other country in the European Union , The Netherlands develope now their activities in the frame of a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), have to follow common rules, and get financial support from the European Community.
The more scarce is the land, the more intensive is the production per hectare and the more expensive is the land. Therefore the Dutch land price is extremely high. This country is not only exportator for agro-food products, it is also exporting farmers looking in Europe or through out the world, for a piece of land at a good price and large field surfaces better than what they can find in their own country. European Union helps farmer migrations.
The land potential yield measured by the production value per hectare is in fact the agricultural production value. In The Netherlands, it is 4203 $ per hectare. The work task productivity is obtained by taking the cultivated land surface per active worker (Sa) multiplied by the production value per hectare (P). In The Netherlands, the cultivate land surface per active worker is low since the population rate is very high, it is 8.5 hectares. The resulting work task productivity can be obtained as follows: 8.5 x 4203 $ = 35831 $. This work task productivity is one of the highest in Europe and can be explained by the very high agricultural intensity.
A very high population rate with big cities, a very high agricultural production rate implying a large use of fertilizers and pesticides, a high concentration of industrial live-stock breeding farms,… all this explains that the pollution rate (of different kinds) is particularly high in The Netherlands. It is now one the major political concern of this country.
The population rate is usually measured by km² of a state territory. The Netherlands have the highest population rate among the European countries and also in the world. From the agricultural point of view, a more significant number for population rate is not the number of people per km² but the number of people compared to the field surface, and more specifically, compared to the cultivated land. Thus in The Netherlands, in 1990, the population rate per cultivated km² was 1666 inhabitants . Such a population rate means 0.06 hectare per inhabitant (i.e. 150 acres). In China it is 0,08 hectare per inhabitant, in Japan 0.04 (which means the smallest surface in the world), while in France it is 0.34 and in the USA 0.75. Taking into account the high population rate The Netherlands must reach a high potential yield per hectare to feed its population, as it is the case for the Asiatic countries. Moreover, The Netherlands is a net exportator (they export more than they import).
The high production yield for the soils and for the working task, can be explained by the level of education and of training reached by the farmers as well as by the high level of technical knowledge. Scientific research, education, agricultural technical knowledge, are extremely common and performing. The general tendency is the total controle of the production environment: the greenhouse plant growth is a perfect example. The Dutch agriculture is the most industrialized in Europe, which means the industrial activities ( intermediate products, equipment, process of the agricultural products ) is a very high part of the production costs as well as the taxes (VAT). The farmers get both a technical and economical training and apply the most performing methods in the management of the money investment per farmer which gives the best result in Europe.