Junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma has set aside €1m to encourage greenhouse growers to develop new, innovative products to succeed the snack bell-pepper and ‘honey tomato’.
Developing new plants and seeds will allow the sector to grow further and to focus more on countries outside Europe, Dijksma said in a briefing on Monday.
‘In addition, the Dutch market garden sector can make an important contribution to the growth in agrarian production in developing countries and help solve world food shortages,’ the minister said.
The Netherlands exports some €20bn worth of bulbs, plants, flowers and seeds a year. But efforts have to be made to keep ahead in the face of ‘trade disruption’ and import bans, the minister said in a briefing.
The budget for stimulating energy-saving measures in greenhouse production is being doubled to at least €5m.
The aim is to ensure greenhouses are energy neutral by 2020. Geothermal heat respresents a relatively cheap but sustainable source of energy with perspective, the briefing said.
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