In the Netherlands, agriculture is a major economic sector. The effects of climate change in the Netherlands may cause a rise in temperature and a higher CO2 concentration, which would result in higher yields. However, climate change also poses serious threats. To anticipate the effects of a changing climate and limit the risks, whilst maximising the opportunities, climate scenarios are tested.
The Dutch National Public-Private program on Climate Research and Knowledge Infrastructure established an innovative program called ‘Spatial Planning and Climate Adaptation’ (ARK). One of the projects that ensued was a three-phase initiative, ‘Climate and Agriculture in Northern Netherlands’, which was set up to assess the impact of global climate change over time on agriculture and to identify the measures to be taken to damper its negative impacts.
In this project, farmers conducted a farm-level study of all the aspects of climate change and discussed the possible adaptation measures. Numerous stakeholders were involved, spanning science, industry, business and policy, who collaborated closely with the farmers to assess scientific results against everyday practical experiences.
To predict the influence of the climate on market developments, the project tests agro-economic scenarios using four climate parameters that are like to make greatest impact on crops: temperature, humidity, wind and precipitation.
A comprehensive research programme was conducted to examine what the hindering factors for agriculture would be and what adaptation strategies could be taken. The scenarios investigated suggested that most of the 15 crops tested would be challenged by future weather conditions, finding that potato, lily and onion were the most vulnerable.
These projected climate scenarios provide valuable insights on possible impacts of climate change in Europe and guide communities, farming businesses and policy makers identifying appropriate measures of adaptation to climate change.
This initiative was provided by the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP).