The Dutch farmers scored a big political win this week. The farmers have made headlines recently for their tractors protests ploughing up the political landscape.
And now their efforts are impacting elections. Exit polls show the farmer citizen movement which was founded less than four years ago, winning the most seats in the Dutch senate. Their party is on course to win 15 seats in the 75-seat senate. The farmers’ party has been challenging the government’s plans to cut nitrogen emissions by reducing livestock numbers and possibly closing some farms.
The Dutch government says it needs to reduce nitrogen emissions by 50 percent by 2030, blaming fertilizers and manure from agriculture in particular for pollution. It says it must comply with a Dutch court order saying it had breached European Union rules on nitrogen emissions affecting soil and water.
But the farmers say they are being unfairly targeted by the still unfinalized proposals compared to sectors such as construction, industry, and transport.