States want analysis of companies buying up from Frisian nitrogen plan

A majority in the provincial council supports the Frisian nitrogen implementation program 2030. In this plan, the province of Fryslân asks the farmers in south-eastern Friesland to reduce their nitrogen emissions by three quarters. In other areas, the reduction may be limited to 25 percent.

In a proposal from the council parties CDA, FNP and VVD, the states call on the provincial government not to include the analysis from Wageningen University and Research on the purchase of a large number of agricultural enterprises as part of the implementation program. More than 80 percent of state members supported this proposal, only the SP, GrienLinks, PvdD and D66 voted against.

VVD MP Marten Dijkstra only received support for his proposal to buy up agricultural holdings in extreme cases if this is the result of a thorough land acquisition process. The purchase must be a demonstrable contribution to a favorable conservation status for nitrogen-sensitive Natura 2000 sites and can only be used if it has been legally tested and substantiated with (practical) measurements.

Stir up a lot of dust

The implementation program caused a great deal of controversy at the beginning of April, when it became clear that the goals could be achieved by, among other things, acquiring 110 agricultural companies in Southeast Friesland. This led to some criticism after the farmers involved in the area had to read it in the newspaper. “It was not communicated well, and we blame ourselves for it,” said Agriculture Commissioner Klaas Fokkinga (FNP) again on Wednesday night at the states’ meeting of the provincial government in Leeuwarden.

Deputy Douwe Hoogland (PvdA, area-oriented approach) and he talks with farmers in the area, among other things, to restore confidence in the nitrogen supply. Various states, such as CDA, ChristenUnie and D66, are in doubt about this.

No majority resolution

ChristenUnie and seven other opposition parties filed a motion for apology over the state of affairs, but received no support from the majority of the provincial council.

‘Nitrogen policy has not been sufficiently discussed with all sectors. A little has happened in the last two years. The deputy is waiting for the government and shows no initiative himself. Communication to the sectors is downright poor. The commissioner has thus jeopardized his credibility ‘, argued ChristenUnie-Staten member Wiebo de Vries.

Earlier in the evening, De Vries said he had the feeling that there was a deputy who was not aware of what had happened. ‘I want a Commissioner who is passionate about his work, and I do not see that enough.’

According to Fokkinga, the province now handles communication well, he said at the beginning of the debate. “A learning point is that we not only talk to dialogue partners, but also right in the field. We are in negotiations, negotiations with city council members are planned. We are busy restoring the trust that has been lost here and there. We have to tackle that together. ‘

Waste of public money

It would be very bad to let so many farmers disappear to such an extent, argued PvdA MP Hetty Janssen. “It’s not the province’s plan at all. Only buying a tipper or buying it when you want to expand is useful. Otherwise, there is a risk of waste of public funds, “she said.

According to the PvdA member, the province should submit the implementation program to the bank as soon as possible and not wait until everything is ‘100 percent fixed.’ ‘There have been warnings about this nitrogen problem for years. The discussion about models should not be completely chewed up. We’re going to work. ‘

GrienLink’s Member of Parliament Jochem Knol believes that the implementation program is primarily a plan to ‘seize and hold’. “The program still exudes fear of action. This council chooses to get the money from The Hague and then avoid the painful measures that are necessary. ‘

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