AGRICULTURE

In 1998, agriculture accounted for 3.5 percent of the kingdom's GDP. Employment in agriculture has actually been increasing slightly over the past decade. In 1995, there were 109,000 people employed in the sector, but by 1999 that number had grown to 116,000. Much of this increase has been the result of growth in the dairy and horticulture segments of agriculture. As in many other countries, Dutch agriculture has been marked by the decline of the small, family-owned farm and the rise of large corporations that specialize in agriculture. Many Dutch agricultural firms have also become increasingly international and do a significant amount of their business overseas or in other European nations. Dutch agriculture is divided into 3 broad areas: crop production, dairy and livestock production, and horticulture. The nation's agricultural land is also divided into 3 broad types: grasslands, farmlands, and horticultural lands. The nation's extensive waterways and network of dams and dikes allow for easy irrigation and have produced very fertile soils. On the other hand, the increased use of chemicals in agriculture has created environmental pressures and led to new ecological policies that are designed to reduce damage to the kingdom's environment. Partially because of pollution concerns and partially because of health considerations, the consumption of organic foods (crops and livestock that are raised without chemical fertilizers or pesticides) has increased. While these foods now account for 2 percent of total production, by 2010 they are expected to comprise 5-10 percent of total production. The main food crops are barley, corn, potatoes, sugar beets, and wheat. Potatoes are the main crop by volume, and in 1999 Dutch farmers produced 8.2 million metric tons of the crop. That same year, the Dutch harvested 5.5 million metric tons of sugar beets, 1 million metric tons of wheat, 240,000

the nation is a major importer of wheat for animal fodder and cereal production. In 1998. The nation is self-sufficient in dairy production and most dairy goods are exported. about half of which was used to produce cheese. Extensive grasslands provide grazing for dairy cows and beef.metric tons of barley. Many of the small.9 percent in 1999. Dairy and livestock production is highly specialized and technologically sophisticated. The major agricultural processed product was cigarettes.7 billion. One of the largest dairy corporations in the Netherlands is Campina Melkunie. the value of exports was US$18. In 1999 this large. there were 1. independent Dutch dairy farms have been bought by large corporations. The main dairy exports include butter. . In 1994. Despite its wheat and barley production. Dutch farmers have some of the highest yields of beef and milk in the world (behind only the United States and Great Britain). with the rest centered in various EU nations. The number of dairy cows has remained relatively constant in the kingdom. and condensed milk. The Dutch also have a large brewing industry. cheese. agricultural harvests were up 23.000 metric tons of corn. The Netherlands is one of the least forested countries in the world. the nation produced 11 billion kiloliters of milk. multinational company did only 36 percent of its US$5 billion business in the Netherlands. Over 90 percent of its forest products have to be imported. and 58. Firms such as Heineken and Grolsch export beer around the world and have operations in 170 nations. while in 1999 it was US$31. The Dutch food and beverage company Unilever is one of the world's largest corporations.61 million. In 1997.7 billion. After suffering a significant drop in production in 1998 because of flooding and bad weather.69 million dairy cows and in 1998 there were 1.

Horticulture.000 companies are engaged in horticulture in the kingdom. and there is a total of 44. Seafood consumption has risen substantially in the Netherlands over the past 2 decades.7 million head of cattle. Total livestock numbers have declined slightly over the past few years. and there has been dramatic growth in exports to the United Kingdom. This amounts to some 9 billion flowers per year. it is . prawns.45 million. is a major factor in Dutch agriculture. lamb. Likewise. Over 3. and Russia. In 1994 there were 14. The Netherlands now contains over half of all of the greenhouses in Europe.Besides dairy cows. pork.3 million. Review: Netherlands has a long tradition of farming and market gardening. It markets a wide range of farm produce. and turkey. The Dutch export significant amounts of cut flowers and bulbs. especially the growing of ornamental plants and flowers. Although by global standards Netherlands has relatively little farmland.56 million pigs. Eggs and beef are the main livestock exports. shrimp. and the nation is world-renowned for its tulips. by 1998 that number had fallen to 13. and specializes in the production of high-quality food and drink. Horticulture is conducted in both open fields and through the use of glass greenhouses. however. chicken. Italy.000 acres of flowers under cultivation. About half of this is consumed locally and the rest exported. About 75 percent of flowers are exported. including squid. Dutch fishermen harvest some 407.000 metric tons of seafood each year. The Dutch also import significant amounts of seafood. the other main types of livestock are beef and veal. For instance. duck. in 1994 there were 7. and crab. there has been a similar decline in the number of pigs. including organically-grown fruit and vegetables. but by 1998 that number had declined to 4.

Dutch industry is diversified and includes a variety of businesses that range from manufacturing. mining. historical data and news. Industrial production measures changes in output for the industrial sector of the economy which includes manufacturing.8 percent to GDP in 1998.26 percent in October of 2011. Although it has declined as a percentage of the nation's GDP.22 percent reaching an historical high of 11. The government has undertaken a variety of programs to encourage the development of new industries in the kingdom and to bring industry to areas of the country that are economically depressed. and information that targets framing practice. This page includes: Netherlands Industrial Production chart. industry remains a viable component of the Dutch economy.2% of the Gross National Product. From 1996 until 2010. Dairy farming and horticulture are the main activities. . Productivity has increased enormously in the past decades.the world’s third biggest exporter of agricultural produce.20 percent in December of 1999 and a record low of -13. and utilities. and energy production to construction and chemical manufacturing. Netherlands' industrial production averaged 1. which is responsible for approximately 2. mining. Some 3% of the Dutch workforce is employed in the agriculture sector.50 percent in February of 2009. Industrial Production is an important indicator for economic forecasting and is often used to measure inflation pressures as high levels of industrial production can lead to sudden changes in prices. INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT Industrial Production in Netherlands expanded 1. contributing 26. thanks to high quality education and research.

Specifically. The most dramatic declines in employment and output were in the textile manufacturing sector and in shipbuilding and repair. biotechnology. were employed in food and tobacco processing. and tobacco.000. Philips employs 44. Electronics manufacturing in the Netherlands is dominated by the multinational corporation Philips. Philips employs 265. Over the past decade.645. Many of the manufacturing industries are based on the processing of raw materials or semi-finished materials into finished products. the chemical industry has declined slightly (by 2 percent). total manufacturing in the kingdom grew by 9 percent. and the number-three field was machinery manufacturing with 89. The Dutch manufacturing sector is dominated by the production of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. metals and electronics. The largest number. Philips is the ninth-largest manufacturer of semiconductors in the world.753 workers. In 1998.591 people employed in manufacturing. The company makes lighting. consumer electronics. Of the 100.000 people.000 people employed in the Netherlands in the electronics field. semiconductors. and communications systems. MANUFACTURING AND CONSTRUCTION. and microelectronics. companies in the Netherlands import materials such as metal or chemicals and turn these . The largest computer chip factory in Europe is in the Netherlands. while metals and electronics and food processing has expanded by 810 percent. In 1999. and Origin. The number-two industry in terms of employment was metal processing with 99. CMG. In other words.688 employees. food processing. appliances. there were 847. the government has encouraged growth in the aerospace industry. 144. Other major Dutch electronics firms include ASML. Worldwide.

Dutch ship builders received orders for 88 new vessels and 45 percent of these orders were from foreign firms. Still. Ship building and repair employ about 10. On several occasions this has led to a bubble (a rapid increase in value that is unsustainable over many years) in the housing market. most of which were from ship building.items into products that consumers can use such as car parts or cleaning chemicals. Akzo Nobel. DSM produces 70 percent of the polymers and rubber that the European automobile industry uses to produce new cars. real estate prices declined by 45 percent by 1982. Major Dutch chemical companies include Shell. Ship building and repair continue to be significant factors in the Dutch economy.66 billion in 2000. competition from countries where workers are paid less has caused drastic cutbacks in the field which is only about one-half the size it was previously. and DSM. the construction field is aided by government . The Dutch chemical industry produces a variety of goods including synthetic rubber. real estate is very valuable in the kingdom. Over the past 30 years. Meanwhile. Dutch pharmaceutical companies have an annual output of about US$4 billion. and polyester yarns for industrial purposes. However. In 2000.000 workers and are concentrated in the large ports on the western coast. Shell and Akzo Nobel are the eleventh-and twelfth-largest chemical companies in the world. Because the nation is so small in geographic size and has a high population density. construction has had a major impact on the Dutch economy. During this recession. the Netherlands is the world's seventh-largest producer of ships and the fourth-largest in Europe. The industry had revenues of US$1. Nonetheless. The collapse (or bursting) of the housing bubble in the 1970s led to a widespread economic recession . plastic consumer goods .

the total natural gas production of the kingdom was 80 billion . Switzerland. production has declined to an average of about 60. About half the natural gas produced is used within the country. In 1998. France.500 barrels of oil per day. the only mining operations left in the kingdom were small companies that extracted salt. there were 31. the sector averaged 2 percent growth per year.000 square mile) area in the North Sea. the Geneva Convention on the Law of the Sea gave the kingdom the rights to a 56.000 people employed in the field. By the 1990s. peat. and some sand and gravel for construction uses. with the rest exported to EU nations. During the 1990s. the discovery of oil and natural gas led to the demise of the coal companies during the 1970s. there were only about 9. Many of the kingdom's former oilfields in the North Sea are now in the process of being decommissioned. In 1958. Although there was once a vibrant coal mining industry in the Netherlands.000 people employed in mining. The main export destinations are Germany. The Dutch do produce a limited amount of oil. Energy production employed about 6. the kingdom is Western Europe's number-one supplier of natural gas. Since that time.spending on infrastructure projects. On the other hand. and Italy. oil production peaked in 1986 at 66. However. but produced considerable profits for the nation. In 1999.459 construction companies and 416.980 square kilometer (22. The main company in the sector is the Netherlands Natural Gas Company which is owned by Dutch and American energy firms and by the Dutch government.000 barrels per day. Belgium. All metal ore used in manufacturing or other industries has to be imported.670 people in 1998. This region contains the kingdom's main reserves of natural gas and is actually larger than the country itself. In 1999. MINING AND MINERAL EXTRACTION.

The legislative branch. The head of state is the monarch. representatives are not elected to represent individual districts but the nation as a whole.2 billion in 2000. Members of the council are appointed by the queen on the advice of the prime minister. The prime minister is usually the leader of the majority party in the nation's parliament or the leader of the largest coalition of parties. The 2 houses are called the First Chamber and the Second Chamber. There are 75 . The election results are proportional so that a party that received 60 percent of the votes would have 60 percent of the seats in the Second Chamber. presently Queen Beatrix. known as the Council of State. Role of state The government of the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. It initiates legislation and may amend bills that are developed by the Council of Ministers. of the nation is known as the States General. The Second Chamber is the more influential of the 2 bodies. The country also has an advisory committee. During elections. or parliament. Government revenues from natural gas were US$1. but the sovereign's powers are now mainly ceremonial. which develops and coordinates policy. The chief of the government is the prime minister who is appointed by the queen. Unlike the American system. The proven reserves of natural gas exceed 2 trillion cubic meters. The chamber has 150 members who are elected for 4-year terms by the general population. the people do not vote for individual candidates but for a particular party.cubic meters. The States General is a bicameral (2 chamber) legislative body.

The government of the Netherlands does not play a major role in the nation's economy. It does not own a large number of businesses or attempt to control economic ventures. Hence. including infrastructure projects. These representatives are elected by the legislatures of the nation's 12 regional governments. Public spending.members of the First Chamber. social spending. even small parties are often able to have representation in the States General. Furthermore. there has been an ongoing program to turn those few government-controlled companies and businesses over to the private sector . The last major party is the Green Party which is pro-environment and advocates strict restrictions on pollution and economic activity which might harm the environment. education. Liberal. known as provinces. since the 1980s. and Democrats '66. unlike the United States. but the Labor Party and Democrats '66 tend to be more supportive of government efforts to establish social and economic equality by redistributing wealth through taxes on the wealthy and middle-class. This party was initially formed from the merger of 3 religious parties and is generally one of the more conservative Dutch political groups. All of these parties support free enterprise capitalism . the government of the Netherlands is usually made up of a coalition of a number of small parties. The party opposes most government involvement in the economy. Since 1998. and politics is not dominated by 2 major political parties. The main party that opposes the coalition is the Christian Democratic Appeal or Christian Democrats. The Liberal Party stresses individual political and economic freedom and is much more conservative on economic issues than its 2 coalition partners. An example of this would be increasing private control over telecommunications and public transport services. the government has been led by the "Purple Coalition" which is made up of 3 parties: Labor. Because of the proportional system of elections. and health care amounted to 46 percent of the nation's GDP in 2000 and is .

and therefore prone to flooding. This plan seeks to cut pollution by 80 percent by 2010. In the aftermath of World War II. and finally. First. This organization reduced tariffs between the 3 nations and set .expected to decline over the next decade. but in 2000 the government had a small surplus which equaled 0. but the debt has declined from 67 percent of GDP in 1998. Third. The centerpiece of Dutch environmental policy is the National Environmental Policy Plan known as the NMP. The government debt amounts to 63. Second. Much of the nation is under sea level. Since the 1980s. the government takes an active approach to managing the nation's credit supply and the value of its currency. In 2000. the government announced tax reductions. This is higher than the EU average of 60 percent of GDP. including determining what types of structures can be built on different terrain. the government takes an active role in managing the nation's environment. there are numerous regulations and restrictions on economic activity which include the need to obtain permits for certain types of businesses and controls on product safety and advertising. the government had revenues of US$163 billion and expenditures of US$170 billion. so the government also plays a major role in land management. the government has consistently pursued policies to keep inflation low. In 1999. The impact of the government is most significant on 3 different levels.5 percent of GDP. The government has also allowed the value of the currency to decline in an effort to make Dutch products less expensive and therefore more competitive in global markets. the Dutch formed the Benelux Customs Union with Belgium and Luxembourg.7 percent of GDP. One of the economic and foreign policy objectives of the Netherlands has been European economic and political integration. including a cut in the direct taxes paid by most Dutch citizens.

and the UN. which itself later led to the establishment of the EU. the EU. The nation also helped develop the plans for EMU. Since the Netherlands is a small country. its government has found that the best way to achieve its foreign and economic policy goals is by cooperating with other nations in international organizations such as NATO. the Dutch have supported political cooperation as a way to prevent new conflicts in Europe. Because of their experiences during World War II (when they were conquered by the Germans). including replacing national currencies with the euro.the stage for the later formation of the European Community. . which strives to fully integrate the economies of the EU.

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