More pig farmers have signed up to close down their businesses than there is government subsidy to help them, sources have told the Financieele Dagblad.
The government said last year it had allocated €180m to help pig farmers who want to quit. ‘But the scheme has already been considerably over-subscribed,’ an insider told the paper.
The aim of the scheme, which targets farmers in the south and east of the country where the industry is concentrated, is to reduce the number of pig farms operating in the Netherlands and so cut the amount of smell and pollution they produce.
To be eligible, farms have to meet a certain ‘smell score’ which is offensive to people living up to one kilometre away, the FD said.
The government cash, a fixed amount per farmer, is to be used to cancel permits, demolish buildings and to help fund the transition to a new source of income.
The closing date for applications is midnight on Wednesday.
Dutch farms are home to some 12 million pigs at any one time and the Netherlands is the world’s sixth biggest exporter of pork.
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