Half of Dutch farms are small scale enterprises

Farms below a certain size cannot generate enough income for a household to live on. In addition to the income from the farm, such households must have other substantial sources of income to be able to subsist. About half of Dutch farms are too small to provide sufficient income.

Farms smaller than 50 Dutch size units are too small to generate enough income to provide an average level of prosperity for a family. Nearly half of Dutch farms are below this threshold. One quarter – nearly 24,000 farms – are even smaller than 16 dsu. These are much too small to earn enough money to keep the household. Together, these 24,000 produce just as much as the 100 largest farms in the Netherlands.

The provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel have relatively many small farms. About 30 out of every one hundred farms in these provinces are smaller than 16 dsu. In Flevoland, on the other hand, only 3% of farms belong to this group.

Farms by size, 2000

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Together Dutch farms account for nearly 2 million hectares of land. Farms smaller than 50 dsu – half of the total – account for one fifth of this farmland.

Cor Pierik