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Dutch government to invest in Regenerative Agriculture


5 July 2023

National Growth Fund investment

The Dutch government has announced its intention to invest €129 million, subject to conditions, from the National Growth Fund (NGF) in the Re-Ge-NL innovation programme. This programme is designed to bring about the transition to a regenerative, profitable and socially supported agricultural sector. 

The Re-Ge-NL programme proposal has been submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. It was developed by Next Food Collective, Wageningen University & Research, University Utrecht and University of Groningen in collaboration with 54 partners including FoodValley. 

Farmers’ cooperatives and networks, chain parties, financial institutions, knowledge & technology suppliers and educational & research institutions will jointly start implementation in 2024.  

Regenerative agriculture combines food production with ecosystem restoration, improvement of soil fertility, water management and biodiversity. Moreover, regenerative agriculture can make a positive contribution to the social and economic position of farmers. In this way, it contributes to solving the broad environmental problems of Dutch agriculture and responds to the growing market demand for sustainable food production.    

Advisory Committee NGF: “The Re-Ge-NL proposal offers a possible solution to the broad agricultural, environmental problems and tries to accelerate the transition. For the average farmer, the switch to a regenerative way of working is sometimes unfeasible due to lack of knowledge, economic perspective or working examples. Re-Ge-NL addresses these bottlenecks through an integrated system approach and with bottom-up involvement of farmers. In this way, it will be demonstrated that and how a transition is possible.” 

The NGF is an initiative of the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and of Finance. With the NGF, the government is investing €20 billion between 2021 and 2025 in projects that ensure sustainable economic growth for the long term. 

“The Re-Ge-NL programme is a pivotal step in boosting the sustainable earning power of the Netherlands and supporting the Dutch agri-food sector in becoming a leading example for the transition to more regenerative practices. With a focus on empowering farmers, the programme actively facilitates the transition to regenerative agriculture in a sustainable and inclusive manner.” 

Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel, Circular Agrifood Innovation Lead at Foodvalley NL.

Solving bottlenecks in the transition to regenerative agriculture

The Re-Ge-NL programme aims to solve bottlenecks in the transition to regenerative agriculture in close cooperation with the sector. By demonstrating in practice that the transition is feasible and attractive, Re-Ge-NL ensures a system change and transition acceleration. The practical goal of the programme for 1,000 Dutch farmers to actually make the transition by 2030 and that at least 10,000 farmers and advisors gain knowledge about regenerative farming practices. The ultimate goal is for agriculture with a positive impact on nature and climate to become the new normal. 

 “At Foodvalley NL, we are thrilled to contribute to market development and value chain integration within this proposal. As a Practice Leader in the global food system, we see huge opportunities for Re-Ge-NL to strengthen and enhance international initiatives, including the ‘Regenerative Innovation Portfolio’, a Food Innovation Hub Europe Initiative, brought to you by Foodvalley and EIT Food and supported by the Food Collective,” Jolijn Zwart-van Kessel adds. 

Read more about the ‘Regenerative Innovation Portfolio’ and Foodvalley’s Circular Agrifood Innovation field.

Read more about the Re-Ge-NL proposal for the Dutch National Growth Fund.