Schouten is allocating 100 million euros for peat meadows


Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) is making 100 million euros available to tackle the ‘problem in peat meadows’. The central government and provinces will investigate and implement solutions together with agricultural and nature organizations, the water boards and municipalities.

The low water level in peat meadow beds causes oxidation of the peat, which leads to additional greenhouse gas emissions and soil subsidence. Raising the water level in peat meadow areas has major consequences for farmers, because higher water levels require different management. On wet soils, cows and machines sink and the grass yield is less. That is why new solutions are needed, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

The government is not looking for a solution for all peat meadow areas. ‘Different regions in peat meadow provinces of Friesland, Groningen, North and South Holland, Overijssel and Utrecht each require their own solution direction.’ With the available money, research can be done into which solution is best in which area.

Wet crops

As far as the national government is concerned, solutions lie in the development of, for example, new water infiltration techniques, nature-inclusive circular agriculture with extensification and possibly the development of wet crops. The government does want farms to have a future in the peat meadow areas.

There is a considerable task for these areas. In the Climate Agreement it has been agreed that agriculture and land use are committed to a CO2 reduction of 3.5 megatonnes by 2030, with a further ambition of 6 megatonnes. With the area-oriented approach to peat meadow areas, a CO2 reduction of 1 megaton in 2030 is aimed for, under the direction of the provinces. The provinces themselves also contribute financially to various peat meadow programs. In total, the provinces are investing 105 million euros in this.

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