Sustainable Agriculture Switchover Program takes shape

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9 February 2021

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As part of the objective 'The Netherlands leading in recycling agriculture in 2030', the Ministry of LNV is working on the Sustainable Agriculture Switchover Program. It is one of the funding programs that help farmers make the transition to future-proof business operations. Minister Schouten recently announced more details about the content of the Inversion Programme in a letter to the Lower House.

Four components

The Inversion Programme involves an amount of 175 million euros, which will be spent in four components: an Investment Fund of 70 million euros, a subsidy scheme to support the preparation of a business plan for conversion, a subsidy scheme for the start-up of demonstration farms and a guarantee scheme for working capital. In her letter, the Minister explained the contents of the first component, the Investment Fund.

Investment Fund

The Investment Fund is the core of the Conversion Program, which focuses on financing the investments made for the conversion of agricultural businesses. From the Investment Fund, on the basis of approved business plans, subordinated loans (risk capital) will be provided to agricultural entrepreneurs who want to invest in the conversion to a more extensive and/or more circular business.

The National Green Fund will start with a first pilot of the Investment Fund of 10 million euros. With this first country-wide pilot the Minister wants to gain experience with assessment criteria and steering based on objectives. The Investment Fund will have to contribute integrally to nitrogen emission reduction by the agricultural sector, and to the realization of several objectives regarding: reduction of emissions to soil, water and air (incl. greenhouse gas emissions), increasing biodiversity, improving soil quality, reuse of raw materials from residual streams, reduction of external inputs and animal welfare.

When you as an entrepreneur want to make use of the pilot of the Investment Fund you must submit a plan to the National Green Fund, in which you explain how you want to convert your business. The Minister will provide more information about the conditions and application procedures for the Investment Fund pilot this spring.

More information? Read the brief to the Lower House here. You can read about the steps to circular agriculture that have been taken so far in our background article.