The initiative, called Vruchtbare Kringloop Achterhoek (VKA), is focused on circular farming. It involves livestock farmers in the Achterhoek region in the eastern part of the Netherlands.
“It is a great example of a regional project about sustainable farming that has nationwide relevance and added value. It is great to see how farmers and partners along the chain share best practices and knowledge on such a relevant subject for our sector,” a spokesperson for ForFarmers told us.
The VKA got underway in 2013 as a pilot project among those farmers, with backing from the Netherlands Agriculture and Horticulture Organization (LTO). It got going just as the Dutch annual nutrient assessment cycle, KringloopWijzer, was introduced.
ForFarmers has been lending its expertise to the project since the beginning, and it told us that, to date, over 300 farmers have participated in the VKA, with all those involved looking at ways to increase the efficient use of minerals and optimize manure management.
The company reported that participants in that project have made significant progress in improving mineral utilization, and, thereby, in the reduction of pollution of ground and surface water, resulting in the Achterhoek region leading the way in terms of circular agriculture and sustainable water and soil management.
“Exchange of knowledge and experience was and is central to this, in the field of efficient nutrition, fertilization and improvement of soil quality, for example,” said the feed manufacturer.
The VKA has now morphed into an independent association for farmers.
ForFarmers said it will continue to support the association financially and provide workshops and training sessions for affiliated members. It is also involved in analysis of data.
“This [work] is fully in line with our sustainability objectives and our mission to commit ourselves to the future of farming,” added the spokesperson.