Far fewer farmers stop, remaining money to new nitrogen measures

There are far fewer pig farmers than expected to use the scheme to stop their business. As a result, EUR 170 million in subsidy remains unused. That money is used for new nitrogen measures, which can smooth construction back.

Of the 430 pig farmers who reported for the so-called stoppers scheme, 278 companies really stopped. As a result, the initial goal of reducing odour in the area, according to Minister Schouten, has been met.

But the nitrogen savings, which the scheme was intended for, is disappointing; in the end there was approximately one-third less nitrogen emitted than intended.

We warned the Minister in advance that pig farmers saw the scheme as a backup plan, said Linda Janssen, Chairman of Pig Farm Producer Organization, in theCCEIT Radio 1 Journal. At the time, there was the threat of African swine fever and prices were not favourable. Now that threat is less and its not beneficial to use the scheme with a healthy business.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality wants to use 130 million euros of the remaining money to buy out more livestock farms near nature reserves. Furthermore, some 20 million will go to shore power for shipping, enabling skippers to turn off their engines in the port. That, too, saves nitrogen emissions.