By the approach of the Dutch Farm Experience you will be connect to the most innovative and sustainable farmers within the Netherlands – and provides support to (dairy) farming projects worldwide. The final goal of Dutch Farm Experience is a better world in which milk and other livestock products are produced in a sustainable way: a way in which soil is enriched, animals live well, farmers get a decent income and milk is healthy and without chemicals.
The history of Dutch (dairy) farming clearly shows that it would be wise for each country to develop its own dairy development strategy – starting with its own resources and local circumstances – rather than simply copying the dairy system from the Netherlands.
Why Dutch Farm Experience?
- Many governments, universities and NGO’s have questions about the best way forward in agriculture and livestock development, in order to satisfy the needs for food for the growing urban populations, while also aiming for food-security and poverty alleviation in rural areas.
- The Netherlands is well known for its productive and innovative dairy farming. But when organizations want to learn more about Dutch agriculture are usually connected to mainstream Dutch organizations that promote large-scale and high-input systems. But within the Netherlands itself the negative side-effects of these systems have become painfully apparent; a story which is not included into the messages of mainstream agricultural promotion.
- Dutch Farm Experience enables international organisations to connect to and become inspired by the most innovative and sustainable farmers within the Netherlands that have included important lessons from the past.
- Many of these farmers have re-introduced a number of ‘old’ practices in their farming enterprise. Popular initiatives include on farm cheese-making, farm shops, care farms, re-integration of crops and livestock, using dual-pupose breeds, improving soil quality, and using medicinal plants to reduce anti-biotic use.
- This history is largely unknown beyond the Netherlands. And this is unfortunate – as this knowledge is of immense importance for countries where such ‘old’ elements are still in place – though usually referred to as old-fashioned, and to be replaced by modern techniques.
- In the process of searching for the best combination of ‘old’ and ‘new’ practices people from developing countries and the Netherlands all have important experiences to share. Dutch Farm Experiences aims to strengthen international knowledge exchange in the field of sustainable livestock keeping. Effectively combining old and new practices is the key for a better world, with more food and a better environment for all.
- Direct contact with these farmers in combination – together with good background information and effective training approach – enables visitors to shift their views of their own reality. In this way it is possible to make a ‘technology leap’ and develop locally appropriate sustainable dairy systems, while preventing the negative side-effects of modern dairy farming that are now known in The Netherlands.