Agriculture Minister Resigns as Standoff Continues

Agriculture Minister Resigns as Standoff Continues

The Minister of Agriculture for the Dutch government has resigned amid the ongoing dispute with the nation’s farmers and the globalist EU-driven green agenda of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

On Monday, Henk Staghouwer, the Agriculture Minister in the Netherlands, said that he believed he was “not the right person” to carry out the high-stakes negotiations between the government and the nation’s farmers, who have risen up in protest over plans to impose stringent curbs on nitrogen emissions to comply with climate diktats from Brussels.

“When I started as Minister of Agriculture I knew that the sector faces enormous challenges,” Staghouwer said. “I asked myself the question: am I the right person to lead the tasks that lie ahead as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality? I came to the conclusion this past weekend that I am not that person. That’s why I’m stepping back.”

The announcement came just hours after Staghouwer had returned from Brussels where he negotiated the end of the EU exemption for the amount of animal manure Dutch farmers can spread on their own land to fertilise fields. Currently, only Denmark, Ireland, the Flanders region of Belgium and the Netherlands are permitted to exceed the EU cap of 170 kilos per hectare.

However, under the terms negotiated by the outgoing Agriculture Minister, this exemption will end in 2026, potentially impacting approximately 18,000 farms in the Netherlands, which spreads more manure on fields than other EU nations due to the country’s high level of clay and peat soil, preventing the animal waste from entering into groundwater as quickly.

Those farms that are affected by the decision will only be able to apply for 10,000 euros in assistance, which Staghouwer even acknowledged will not be sufficient to cover their losses, saying that it “is not a nice message” to the farmers.

In response to the minister’s resignation, globalist Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “I respect his brave decision to step down from his duties and wish him every success in the future. Minister Carola Schouten is taking over his portfolio for the time being.”

Snapping back at the government, Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders said: “Rutte himself is the wrong man in the wrong place, who with his mismanagement completely destroys the Netherlands. The farmers are devastated, the land crammed with fortune seekers and the Dutch suffocate and will not get a cent in 2022 to pay their energy bills.”

The dispute between the government and the farmers, which is mainly focused on the Brussels-led initiative to cut nitrogen emissions by 50 per cent by the end of the decade, is likely to continue. During last week’s sitdown negotiations between the two sides, the government blindsided the farmer organisations by declaring that they would not discuss changing the timeline in order to give the businesses more time to transition.

Whoever replaces Staghouwer as agriculture minister will play a key role in future negotiations and therefore some have called for the next minister to have a “farming background“, unlike Staghouwer, who ran a chain of bakeries before entering politics. If, however, a technocrat is installed in his place it will demonstrate that the government has no intention of making compromises with the farmers.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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[By: Kurt Zindulka

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