The farmers are back, and so are the traffic jams

Today, farmers are protesting again, following a call from the agricultural organization, LTO Noord. They are gathering around provincial houses, which will ensure nice long traffic jams all day.

LTO Noord called on its 14,000 members to protest last week, aiming to get provincial policy rules on nitrogen production off the table. The farmers believe they are being unfairly blamed in the discussion about climate change and the nitrogen crisis. It seems that the farmers are already having some success in their campaign, as the province of Friesland has withdrawn its plans to combat nitrogen following a protest at a provincial house there last Friday, according to RTL Nieuws.

Atmosphere tense in Groningen

However, in Groningen, the atmosphere has turned sour, as farmers threaten to storm the provincial house. The deputy, Henk Staghouwer, has refused to meet the farmers, and to take the proposed measures against the nitrogen crisis off the table. More farmers are  making their way to the provincial house to support their peers. The police have just announced that they will also be sending more officers, according to NOS. 

Agriculture responsible for 40 percent of nitrogen production

The agricultural sector is responsible for 40 percent of the nitrogen production affecting Natura-2000 areas (areas of natural beauty). Due to nitrogen deposits in these areas, biodiversity disappears and plants become extinct. It could take over 50 years for these areas to recover from this pollution.

Researchers announce measures to combat nitrogen crisis

Researchers have therefore put forward a number of measures to tackle the nitrogen crisis, with most of them pertaining to the agricultural sector. Farms nearby Natura-2000 areas must be cleaned up, farmers must invest in techniques to lower nitrogen emissions, and the number of livestock in the country must shrink- GroenLinks proposes to cut it in half.

Have you been caught up in a traffic jam today? Let us know in the comments below. 

Image: Max Pixels

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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