Farmers Fight Back: Planned Nitrogen Limits Will Hurt Belgian Agriculture

Farmers Fight Back: Planned Nitrogen Limits Will Hurt Belgian Agriculture

March 17, 2023

The Flemish regional government’s plans to limit nitrogen emissions from agriculture have sparked a backlash from thousands of Belgian farmers, who took to the streets to protest. The proposed limits have been met with strong opposition from farming unions claiming that the measures place a heavy burden on the industry.

Politico EU reports, 

“‘It’s an economic and social catastrophe,’ said Nele Kempeneers, a spokesperson for Belgian farmers’ association Boerenbond, one of the unions that organized the protest. ‘A lot of farms will have to limit the amount of animals that they keep, or simply close down.’”

Agriculture is a critical sector of the local Flemish economy and vital to the overall population. 

Belgian dairy farmer Marjan van den Eynde told Politico EU, 

“Here in Belgium, we have the know-how, we have the cows and the genetics and we have the [land]. So let us do what we are good at.” She continued to explain that farmers are the most aware of anyone about negative environmental impacts, saying, “we are the first to feel the effects.”

Unfortunately, Belgian farmers are not the only ones with a proposed nitrogen limit. Farmers in Netherlands and Italy are also coping with government overreach. This is an excellent example of government officials sticking their noses into an industry they know nothing about. This new climate regulation will bankrupt farmers, harm the food supply, and raise global prices.