Agent based tools for analyzing spatial allocation for greenhouse horticulture

The Netherlands is a well-known exporter of vegetables, plants and flowers, and in 2005 the greenhouse farming sector ensured nearly 40% of the national trade surplus. For 2003 the production value is estimated to exceed the 4.8 billiard Euro and its sector facilitates (direct and indirect) work to half a million people.

However, besides this well-known exporting reputation, the spatial pressure for land in the Western-part of the country is threating the Dutch international advantageous position. Such a pressure negatively influence the production prize, market accessibility, room for expansion and land-prices. Besides, labour-costs are not expected to decrease, unlike countries as Spain, Morocco or Turkey that compete on the same markets. In order to compensate these negative effects of spatial pressure and rising labour cost, the Dutch industry’s aspiration for higher efficiencies and innovation is crucial. And even though earlier attempts to establish a viable greenhouse development in more sparsely populated areas, the hypotheses is that reallocation of greenhouse industry is the key to higher efficiencies and more innovation.

Despite the increasing production cost in the Western part of the country and the governmental attempts to establish viable greenhouse development in more sparsely populated areas, earlier attempt to attract greenhouse entrepreneurs away from the West failed. By modelling the settling behaviour, this project tries to understand how the current situation further develops and if or whenever entrepreneurs do decide to migrate. And of course, to validate the hypothesis, whether reallocation contributes to higher efficiencies