Danish Farms to Thrive on New Green Growth

DENMARK - The Danish government has just launched a DKr 13.5 billion Green Growth plan that will ensure better conditions for the country’s nature and environment while allowing agriculture to develop. The plan represents a 50 per cent increase in investments compared with previous plans.
calendar icon 11 May 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The government’s Green Growth plan was presented at a press conference in Copenhagen on 30 April 2009 by Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Eva Kjer Hansen, Minister for Economic and Business Affairs Lene Espersen, Minister for the Environment Troels Lund Poulsen and Minister of Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard.

“With this Green Growth plan the Danish government has now launched a long-term initiative that ensures good conditions for a green Danish farming sector for many years,” says Food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen. “The central aspect of the Green Growth plan is that it combines agriculture, the environment and nature in one policy. Economic growth, nature and the environment presuppose each other - they are not in conflict with each other.”

Energy in all farm animal manure must be used

The government’s Green Growth plan stipulates that 40 per cent of farm animal mnure must be used for green energy in 2020 and that, in time, all farm animal manure must be used as a source of energy. Initiatives to reach targets include a fund for starting investments in biogas and a biogas team to co-ordinate biogas activities around the country.

“With the Green Growth plan’s aim of turning agriculture into a supplier of manure for green energy we will be getting positive effect from manure,” says Eva Kjer Hansen. “We will see growth, because the farmer’s liquid manure will be turned into energy, and at the same time the degassed liquid manure means a reduced seepage of nutrients and lower evaporation of methane - both benefiting the climate and the environment. In fact, this is a win-win situation.”

Doubling the organic farming area

Denmark in recent years. With its organic farming initiative in the Green Growth plan, the government will ensure that organic farming continues to develop healthily in Denmark.

“Organic farming is Green Growth - a combination of green production and production with a sound economy,” says Food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen. “We are now makin it possible to double the area used for organic production through a massive effort amounting to almost DKr 350 million a year. This will result in a greater Danish organic production of apples, carrots, milk and salami, to name a few products. And this will benefit consumers, exports, the environment, nature and animal welfare.”

The Green Growth plan also aims at modernising and liberalising the Danish farming legislation and giving farmers better opportunities for growth, as well as making it easier for them to raise capital.

“We will remove both the current limit on the number of animals on a farm and the requirement that a farmer must have a certain amount of land for the number of animals on his farm,” says Food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen. A competitive agricultural sector needs free reins to take advantage of the benefits of large-scale operations and better opportunities for raising capital. This is something Danish agriculture must have.”

Efficient organisation of research and development

In its Green Growth plan, the government aims at an efficient organisation of agricultural research and development. Among other things, this will occur through a green development and demonstration programme where a number of single initiatives will be gathered. At the same time, DKr 145 million per year have been earmarked for green investments in Danish agriculture.A considerable part of the Green Growth plan will be financed through full transfer to Denmark of funds under the EU's Rural Development Programme.

“Quality costs money therefore planning to make full use of the funds made available by the ‘health check’ of the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy. That will give DKr 1.7 billion a year. Transferring EU funds to Denmark is a central source of finance for the Green Growth plan. With the government’s initiative we will transfer to Denmark all the Rural Development Programme funds that are available in 2010-2013

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