Netherlands or Holland is highly specialized in horticulture
The horticultural farming areas in the Netherlands include
The Wasteland: – this includes The Hague, Hook of Holland and Rotterdam.
It mainly grows vegetables e.g. carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, and grapes.
Leiden – Harlem area: – this includes Aalsmeer near Amsterdam and mainly grows flowers.
Arnhem – Nijmegen area: – includes Guelderland, Limburg and Utrecht and it mainly grows fruits
Factors favouring horticultural farming in the Netherlands
- The coast of Netherlands is washed by the warm Gulf Stream Current making it free from ice/frost thus favours growth of fruits throughout the year
- Fertile soils: – the sandy coastal dunes, which are well drained and quickly warmed up in spring, are ideal for Horticulture.
- Advanced technology in the Netherlands e.g. the use of greenhouses with heating systems has led to highly developed horticultural farming.
- Highly developed transport system e.g. good harbours, canals, navigable rivers, roads and railway lines eases and quickens the movement of horticultural crops in/outside the country.
- Central location of the Netherlands in Europe makes it accessible to external/foreign markets.
- Ready Market from the populous urban areas and Europe (high purchasing power)
- Highly organized marketing systems due to well-developed cooperatives to market the produce, supply inputs, organize auctions and advance credit to farmers.
- Availability of skilled labor with a long tradition in floriculture has ensured high production and quality packaging.
- Extensive and successful research in horticulture has led to high quality crop varieties and effective pest and disease control
The horticultural crops are grown in open fields as well as in greenhouses
The vegetables grown in the Netherlands are tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, cauliflower, melons, and spinach among others
Flowers include tulips, chrysanthemum, roses, carnations and lilies
Fruits; apples, pears, cherries and red currants
The farm produce is transported by road, railway and air to the nearest market
Some of the produce is sold locally with the major local markets are concentrated in the major urban centres in the Netherlands
The majority are exported to the major foreign markets e.g. Britain, Germany, Sweden and France.
The products are sold by auction
Importance of Horticultural Farming to the Economy of Netherlands
- Foreign exchange earnings through export
- Creation of employment opportunities thus source of income
- It has contributed to development of good transport infrastructure network in the Netherlands.
- It has encouraged polderization – reclamation of land from the sea for expansion of horticulture farms .
- Development of related industries through provision of raw materials