Dutch Agriculture Minister Henk Staghouwer Abruptly Resigns After Protests

Thousands of Dutch farmers have protested recent Nitrogen rules that will force approximately 30% of Dutch cattle farms out of business. The Gateway Pundit reported on Dutch police opening fire on a 16-year-old farm boy and aiming guns at farmers in an effort to shut down the mass protests.

AP reports:

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch agriculture minister has unexpectedly resigned, telling reporters he wasn’t the right person for the job following a tumultuous summer of protests by farmers over pollution regulations.

Henk Staghouwer, who held the position for only nine months, announced his decision Monday night. He had just returned from Brussels, where he negotiated an agreement with the European Commission to scrap a Dutch exemption to manure spreading limits.

The Netherlands, along with Denmark, Ireland and the Flanders region of Belgium, had been allowed to exceed caps on how much manure farmers could return to their fields because of the country’s comparatively small land area. But Brussels wants to phase out this dispensation because the Dutch are failing to meet EU water quality standards.

The country’s lucrative agriculture sector has been in crisis since a 2019 court ruling forced the government to slash emissions of nitrogen oxide and ammonia, which livestock produce. Thousands of farmers have staged protests, blockading cities with tractors and burning hay bales along highways.

From Staghouwer’s Twitter account:

Today I have decided to step down as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Below I explain my decision.

When I took office as minister, I knew that we were faced with enormous tasks in agriculture, horticulture and in the fishery. That it is necessary to look to the future with the sector. To work on a new perspective.

Farmers and fishermen need certainty about where the sector is heading, so that they can invest and do business. And as a former entrepreneur, I share that with them.

At the beginning of this year, I came to The Hague from Groningen to to work together with all parties in agriculture and fisheries to tackle the enormous tasks what we stand for and to make the transition to circular agriculture together.

It is clear that these tasks are large. I asked myself the question: am I the right person toas Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to lead the major tasks that lying down?

Last weekend I came to the conclusion that I am not that person. I’m performing for this reason returned as Minister of Agriculture. I wish my successor together with the dedicated people of the ministry just all the best.


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