10 August 2021 | 3 min.

Climate-smart agriculture

As asset manager in the agricultural sector, we are committed to enabling farmers to achieve their business targets while meeting our sustainability objectives. We have translated these objectives under the principles of Climate-Smart Agriculture to ensure that every effort is made to keep the soil fertile for future generations of farmers. We do so by realising a sustainable income with sustainable production, by making the agricultural sector climate proof and by reducing CO2 emissions wherever possible.

Sustainable income with sustainable production

Sustainable income

We know better than anyone what a fantastic calling farming is but we are also aware that becoming a farmer is more and more of a challenge these days. Besides having to deal with the increasing complexity of farming, large investments are required. Our lease hold products provide farmers with investment funding for starting, expanding or improving the sustainability of their farms. In consultation with the sector, we develop products, such as Jonge Boeren Erfpacht (Young Farmers Lease Hold), which bring ‘becoming a farmer’ that step closer. This contributes to continuity in the agricultural sector and thus a sustainable income for farmers.

Sustainable production

Soil is the most important factor in our food production. In order to keep this essential resource healthy and fertile, we, together with Rabobank and Vitens have co-created the Open BodemIndex (Open Soil Index). The Open Soil Index measures the health of soil by looking at its chemistry, biology and structure. We aim to promote use of the index by farmers as this innovative tool gives insight into soil health and provides a framework for improving it. Good soil health enhances biodiversity in and on the soil because it provides a favourable living environment for all kinds of plants and animals.

Bodem Landbouwgrond

Healthy and fertuke soil: nature-inclusive agriculture in Noord-Brabant

Climate change proof (adaptive agriculture)

Farmers have been ‘one with nature’ for thousands of years and they have the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances. Climate changes are going to have a tremendous impact on all aspects of life on earth and, in our opinion, adapting to these changes will be one of the most formidable challenges of our time. Our efforts towards making the sector climate change proof are based on close contacts with knowledge centres and enterprising farmers. We also test likely-looking crops and cultivation methods together with farmers. These activities increase our options in terms of promising technologies and varieties that can be scaled up.

Reduction of CO2 emissions

Greenhouse gases are significant contributors to global warming. With the endorsement of the Paris Agreement and, by extension, the Climate Agreement and Spitsbergen Ambition, we, in cooperation with farmers, have undertaken to reduce our CO2 footprint. Together, we can achieve our joint goals by capturing and storing CO2 and by reducing emissions of the gas in the first place. We will have to tackle the social issues of climate change (mitigation and adaptation), soil quality, water quality and biodiversity and implement an integrated analysis of the practices needed to manage soil sustainably in the long term.