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The Dutch farming sector does not only take into account vegetable productions, breeding and forestery, but also the proccessing of the modification of farm products into farm-produce foodstuffs, the trade which supplies upstream the farmer with seeds, fertilizers, cattle food and capital goods (premises for breeding, greenhouse).
Besides production, the sector develops different activities in the field of leisure activities (campsites etc.) and preservation of the countryside (zones with contract of management, maintenance of quickset hedges, etc.).
The Netherlands are known as important agricultural exporters in the world due to the know-how of their farmers (helped with research network, development and training), the superior and constant quality of the products, the efficiency of the marketing system and the inner market of the EU.
Nevertheless, sometimes the ways of production affect the quality of the soil, the water and the air. In response to such problems caused by new techniques, the surplus of fertilizer and of the massive use of pesticides, more appropriate methods and better techniques are introduced.
In The Netherlands, more durable agricultural forms of production tend to be reached, as the organic agriculture and ornamental horticulture.

Agricultural population (in thousands)

Total population

16 227

Agricultural population


Non agricultural population

15 743

Source : 2004, FAOSTAT

Land use

Cultivated surface area

1 923 000

Irrigated surface area

565 000

Number of farms

81 830

Number of tractors

149 500

Source : 2003, FAOSTAT

Production indicators

Main crops

Product Production (in thousands) Harvested surface (1000 ha) Yield by hectare (kg/ha)
Potatoes 6777 163 41559
Sugar beet 5931 91 65210
Wheat 1175 137 8574
Onions dry 1007 24 41612
Tomatoes 660 1 507692

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT


Specie Headcount (in thousands)
Chickens 92914
Pigs 11312
Cattle 3799
Sheep 1363
Turkeys 1200

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT

Fishing (in metric tons)

Shellfish, mollusks and cephalopods Saltwater fish Freshwater fish
79 595 526 918 5 480

Source : 2005, FAOSTAT