History Dutch agriculture

The Dutch agricultural companies used to be mixed companies. These were small businesses, with some cows, a few pigs for meat and horses for the work. The farming was aimed at producing feed for own animals. The rest of the production was traded on the local market and was intended for own consumption. It was pretty difficult for these companies to survive. Especially on poor sandy soils in The Netherlands, farmers had to work hard to survive.

After prosperity in the middle of the 19 century, around 1850, in which the rural residents brought their products to the cities and were self-sufficient, came to an end. The Dutch agriculture
fell into disrepair, with the effect of a huge change in business (steam engine as driving force was invented) and the large supply of cheaper American products, to which the Dutch agriculture could not adapt fast enough.  This led to an unprecedented agricultural crisis in Europe, from 1878 to 1896. Because of the crisis many farmers emigrated and many farmers came to the edge of bankruptcy or even went bankrupt.

Around 1880 the agricultural section together with the Government began to work together on how to proceed. The beginning of more and more constructive work together was born, what was the introduction of agricultural purchase and credit cooperatives. Credit facilities in the form of banks that gave loans to the farmers were a fact. This gave rich farmers and poor farmers the same opportunities.

Agriculture companies began to invest in knowledge; setting goals. Companies grew. Exports increased and we learned by working together that we could compete on the international market.

The first world war, the great depression of the 1930s and the second world war agriculture has held development and modernisation in its grip and modernization was not realized.

After the second world war the Dutch Government policy focused on the recovery of the economy and industrial production. In order to increase the purchasing power of the people, the price for food was kept low. But the farmers did need a higher income. Therefore, the production of agricultural product increased drastically. This increase in production was achieved by Mechanising. With a lot less labor the same work would be done.

Increasing the production was achieved by reclamation of big lakes, each of approximately 50,000 ha. In 1957 Eastern Flevoland, 1968 Southern Flevoland. This new land is also known as polders. Scaling-up, intensification and specialisation was a fact.


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