Environmental costs in agriculture up sharply

The gross costs of combating environmental pollution through agriculture reached 771 million euro in 2001. This constitutes a 36 percent increase on 1998. Half of these costs consist of manure disposal and administrative costs.

Environmental costs in agriculture

Environmental costs in agriculture

Higher subsidies

Because the government granted 159 million euro worth of subsidies in 2001, three times as much as in 1998, the net environmental costs of the agriculture sector reached 612 million euro in 2001. This means that the environmental burden for the average farmer increased to 6,500 euro in 2001.

Significant increase in cost of manure removal

In 2001 agricultural holdings paid 226 million euro to remove their excess manure. In 1998 this was 96 million euro. In turn the government granted over 56 million euro worth of compensation for farmers ceasing cattle farming in 2001. The government aim is to reduce excess manure production by buying licenses for animal and manure production.

Environmental costs in agriculture

Environmental costs in agriculture

Administrative burden

In 2001 it cost the agricultural sector over 160 million euro to meet their obligation to provide the information required by environmental legislation. These are mainly based on mineral accounting under the Minas system.

Agricultural nature management

Farmers contribute to the natural diversity of the landscape by agricultural nature management. The government compensated farmers with 38 million euro worth of subsidies in 2001 for the costs the farmers incurred.

Roel Delahaye

Source: StatLine