Presentation of Lessons Learnt in Dutch Dairy Farming during Livestock Futures conference – now available on video!

Presentation of Lessons Learnt in Dutch Dairy Farming during Livestock Futures conference – now available on video!

On September 6 and 7 an international forum of farmers, policy makers, researchers and NGO representatives came together during a 2-day Conference on Livestock Futures in Bonn, to discuss the future of livestock keeping in its global and social context. It was important to see that representatives from both developing and European countries came to a similar conclusion: small-scale farmers need a level playing-field to put livestock develoment on a sustainable path. See also the outcome and conclusions of the conference – which was organised by the League of Pastoral Peoples, with support of Misereor and TradiNova Livestock.

During this important event Dr. Katrien van’t Hooft made a presentation entitled: “Lessons Learnt from Dutch (dairy) Farming”. This is now available on video (18.21 minutes)

Reaction on the video: We just had our Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP) annual conference in Addis Ababa. Over 350 people turned up. The theme was climate change and climate variability and livestock. As the current president of ESAP I was impressed at the turn out. More impressive was the interest  that emerged from the video presentation of Katrien’s presentation that was done at the Future of Livestock conference in Bonn. This was presented on the 3rd day of our conference. I was told by many that it was well articulated, informative and able to link the development in the North and how that needs to be understood by people in the South. Clear messages in the lessons learnt. Great thing. (Getachew Gebru, president ESAP)

Brief description of the video

In this presentation Dr. Katrien van’t Hooft describes the background of Dutch dairy farming, shedding light on facts and figures relatively unknown beyond our borders. Dutch dairy cows are highly productive, and labor-efficiency in dairy farming (kg. of milk produced per man-hour) has increased more than 20-fold over the past decades. How was this achieved? Many support policies were put in place, including market protection and EU subsidies. What were the side effects of this success? This includes the ongoing loss of family farms (over 90% since 1960’s) and environmental problems, including loss of soil fertility and biodiversity.

Industrial (dairy) farming is increasingly criticized by Dutch citizens, especially due to it’s animal wellbeing and climate change effects. So what does the future of Dutch dairy farming look like? This is still debated. Is it to continue the process of scale enlargement in highly computerized milking units – as the dean of the Wageningen Agricultural University has recently suggested in his article ‘Intensification or Hunger’? Or is it to further develop the strategies that farmers themselves have developed – combining old practices and new techniques in innovative ways – in response to the growing interest of consumers as well as farmers’ own dissatisfaction with industrial livestock keeping?

Other countries do not necessarily have to copy the Dutch dairy system and follow the route of scale enlargement and specialization. Instead they can make a ‘technology leap’: preventing mistakes that are now known and building on what has been developed by innovative Dutch farmers over the past decades.

By |2015-03-31T10:47:14+00:00October 8th, 2012|Uncategorized|4 Comments

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4 Comments

  1. Katrien October 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    We just had our Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP) annual conference in Addis Ababa. Over 350 people turned up. The theme was climate change and climate variability and livestock. As the current president of ESAP I was impressed at the turn out. More impressive was the interest that emerged from the video presentation of Katrien’s presentation that was done at the Future of Livestock conference in Bonn. This was presented on the 3rd day of our conference. I was told by many that it was well articulated, informative and able to link the development in the North and how that needs to be understood by people in the South. Clear messages in the lessons learnt. Great thing. (Getachew Gebru, president ESAP)

  2. raziqkakar October 13, 2012 at 5:57 am

    It is really great to have point of view about the consequences of the industrialized dairy farming in Europe, especially the Netherlands. The developing countries should not repeat such mistakes. Small livestock keepers are really crucial in many ways, especially in the context of sustainability, biodiversity conservation and climate change. Also, one can see my blog in this context.
    //camel4all.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=592&action=edit

  3. Getnet Zeleke November 21, 2012 at 5:32 am

    It was very interesting presentation about the Dutch dairy farm experiance. We can learn a lot from such presentation and it is realy valuable and constructive to share what you have done on livestock keeping and succeed. I hope it is a good lesson for developing countries to intensify and maximize production from livestock, especially milk. Thanks Dr katrein for sharing us!

  4. ansay January 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Intéressant, ce transfert Nord-Sud et Sud-Nord des expériences et des connaissances!Nous avons à apprendre les uns des autres,

    Michel A.

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