(FreedomBeacon.com)- According to reports, the Dutch government intends to buy up to 3,000 farms before closing them in an effort to adhere to a European Union environmental directive to reduce emissions.
Farmers in the Netherlands will be given “well over” the value of their farm to have them accept the offer voluntarily and peacefully. If not enough farmers accept buyouts, the nation will force the purchases in an effort to lessen its nitrogen pollution.
The minister of nitrogen, Christianne van der Wal, informed the Dutch parliament on Friday that “no better offer is coming.”
According to reports, the farms that are being forced to be purchased are close to environmentally sensitive areas.
If necessary, Van der Wal said, purchases would be made “with pain in the heart.”
Nearly half of the nitrogen emitted in the Netherlands comes from agriculture, and the country is working to reduce its emissions to comply with EU conservation regulations.
The Dutch Council of State ruled in 2019 that all new nitrogen-emitting activities, such as farming and construction, must obtain a permit. According to reports, this has stopped the growth of dairy, pig, and poultry farms, which are significant nitrogen sources.
The new regulations have drawn criticism from some farmers. In a show of displeasure in October, tens of thousands of tractors backed up traffic by up to 700 miles during rush hour.
Many people believe their livelihoods are at risk and their industry is unfairly singled out, while other sectors, like aviation, are not.
Farmers’ advocacy group LTO Nederland has charged that the government has created “restrictions without perspective.”
LTO Chairman Sjaak van der Tak said, “Of course it is positive that a good voluntary stop scheme is being promised. But there will be numerous additional restrictions placed on the stayers who are essential to us.”
According to Investopedia, the Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural goods worldwide. The top agricultural exports from the Netherlands are flowers, dairy products, eggs, meat, and vegetables.