Nearly 22 thousand small farmers in 2009

04/02/2010 15:00

Last year, 30 percent of all agricultural and horticultural enterprises in the Netherlands were small-scale businesses. The 22 thousand small farms accounted for 2.7 percent of total agricultural output. Altogether, they used 8 percent of farmland, i.e. 150 thousand ha, an area the size of all farmland in the province of Drenthe.

Small agricultural and horticultural enterprises

Small agricultural and horticultural enterprises

Three in ten businesses are small

The economic size of small-scale agricultural and horticultural enterprises varies between 3 and 20 dsu. Small farms are usually hobby farms or involved in a liquidation process. It mainly concerns ageing farmers and those who have other sources of income alongside their farms. Small farmers cannot earn a living solely from their agricultural activities.

Area small agricultural and horticultural enterprises

Area small agricultural and horticultural enterprises

A lot of area, horses and sheep

Small-scale farmers altogether use nearly 150 thousand ha of farmland, chiefly grassland (55 percent), but they also grow green maize (17 percent) and other arable crops (27 percent). The remainder is used to grow horticultural products.

Proportionally, small farmers have many sheep and horses, i.e. 34 percent of all sheep and 26 percent of all horses and ponies on Dutch farms are found on small farms.

Cor Pierik and Wim de Rooij