The result of digitization
Countries that are digitally transforming the agricultural sector are performing well. The Netherlands is a world leader in the implementation of innovative technologies. It is a small, densely populated country with a population density of more than 500 people per square kilometer. The country's territory did not allow farmers to develop large areas. For many years, the Netherlands lacked the resources for large-scale agriculture.
Now the country is one of the leading exporters of agricultural products and food.
Since 2000, Dutch farmers have almost completely eliminated the use of pesticides, and since 2009, the use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock has been reduced by 60%. For pest control, farms use natural remedies such as mites, which do not damage vegetables but kill harmful insects.
Many vegetable farms use only rainwater for irrigation. It takes about 60 liters of water to irrigate a typical open field; on a farm, this is reduced to 15 liters.
The Netherlands ranks first in the world in terms of the area under greenhouse cultivation. In climate-controlled greenhouses, crops can be harvested all year round. In addition, the current generation of greenhouses produces more energy than it consumes. This has been achieved by using energy efficiently and adapting greenhouse operations to climate change. Thanks to the high-tech greenhouses, the country near the Arctic Circle is one of the world's leading vegetable producers.
For the Netherlands, agriculture is first and foremost a high-tech sector. Energy-saving greenhouse structures, precision farming systems (via GPS and drones), robotic milking equipment, automated vegetable and fruit processing lines - these are just some of the innovations being implemented by agricultural companies. The Dutch agricultural industry uses modern technology and equipment to achieve productivity levels that are five times higher than the European average.