750 farmers sign up to nitrogen pollution buy-out scheme

Pigs on a factory farm. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Over 750 farmers have applied for inclusion in the government’s offer to buy them out and help reduce the nitrogen pollution problem, RTL Nieuws reported on Wednesday afternoon.

But it will take months before it becomes clear if the outgoing government’s plan can be put into practice and that farmers actually close down in return for cash, the broadcaster said.

Two different schemes are working in tandem. The LBV scheme is for all pig, poultry and dairy farms located close to environmentally sensitive areas while the LBV+ programme is for livestock farms that are defined as peak polluters.

Some 215 farmers have written in for both schemes, the government’s figures show. In total, some 3,000 farms will be eligible for payments of up to 120% of the value of their business if they shut down.

The government has allocated €975 million to fund the scheme, equivalent to €325,000 per farm if everyone who is eligible applies, but ministers accept that the majority will choose not to give up.

Applications for the LBV scheme need to be submitted by the end of this week, and for LBV+ by early April next year.

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