The Netherlands has a long history in livestock production and Dutch livestock products are exported all over the world. Manure is a valuable by-product of the livestock sector, providing nutrients to plants, organic matter to soil and forming an essential element in the cycle of life. Improvements in the use of manure are therefore a vital factor in the drive to feed the world by producing more with less.
Based on its high livestock density, the Netherlands has developed effective mechanisms for the environmentally sound handling and distribution of manure. Environmental quality is guaranteed by strict standards for the use of animal manure and artificial fertilisers. In addition, as of 2014 all farmers are obliged to process their surplus manure. This will lead to the transportation of manure to regions with a shortage, most probably in the form of high quality fertilisers. Furthermore, the agricultural sector is exploring methods of refining manure to produce novel products that contribute to a bio-based economy and a resource-efficient Europe.
An updated overview including facts and figures of the Dutch approach to the sustainable and productive use of manure in a bio-based food system is available in five languages.
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This brochure and website is commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.