The Netherlands is a small, densely-populated country with more than 1,300 inhabitants per square mile (500 inhabitants per square km). More than half of the nation’s land area is used for agriculture and horticulture, mostly in the form of high-tech greenhouse complexes that allow the Dutch to be global leaders in exports of tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. In terms of value, the Netherlands is the world's second-largest exporter of food, trailing only the United States, a country which has 270 times the landmass.
More food, less water:
- Since 2000, Dutch farmers have reduced their dependence on water for key crops by as much as 90 percent, and they have almost completely eliminated the use of chemical pesticides.
- Since 2009, Dutch poultry and livestock producers have decreased their use of antibiotics by as much as 60 percent.
- The Dutch use “precision farming” to get the most out of their fields. For example, the global average yield of potatoes is about nine tons per acre. The Dutch produce more than 20 tons per acre.