The Dutch government is planning to purchase and then close down up to 3,000 farms in an effort to comply with a European Union environmental mandate to slash emissions, according to reports.
Farmers in the Netherlands will be offered "well over" the worth of their farm in an effort to take up the offer voluntarily, The Telegraph reported. The country is attempting to reduce its nitrogen pollution and will make the purchases if not enough farmers accept buyouts.
"There is no better offer coming," Christianne van der Wal, nitrogen minister, told the Dutch parliament on Friday.
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The farms targeted for compulsory purchase are located near environmentally sensitive areas, according to reports.
Van der Wal said purchases would be made with "pain in the heart", if necessary. Fox News Digital has reached out to the Dutch embassy in Washington D.C., but has not heard back.
The Netherlands is trying to reduce its emissions to comply with EU conservation rules and agriculture is responsible for nearly half of the nitrogen emitted in the nation, the report said.
In 2019, the Dutch Council of State ruled that every new activity that emits nitrogen, including farming and building, is required to obtain a permit. That has prevented the expansion of dairy, pig and poultry farms, which are major sources of nitrogen, the Telegraph report said.
Some farmers have voiced opposition to the new rules. In October, thousands of tractors jammed up traffic by up to 700 miles during rush hour in protest.
Many feel their livelihoods are at stake and their industry is being unfairly targeted while other sectors like aviation are not.
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LTO Nederland, a farmers' lobby group, has accused the government of drafting "restrictions without perspective."
"Of course it is positive that a good voluntary stop scheme is being promised," LTO Chairman Sjaak van der Tak said. "But the stayers who are central to us will have many additional restrictions imposed."
The Netherlands is the world's second-largest farm exporter according to Investopedia. Top Dutch farm-based exports include flowers, dairy produces, eggs, meat, and vegetables.