Brandon Zicha and Joes de Natris on the Impact of the Corona Crisis on Dutch Food Supply
The Netherlands must decrease its food imports dependency on foreign countries to be able to reduce the consequences of the corona crisis on its food supply. Dr. Brandon Zicha and Joes de Natris conclude that the solution to this is two-fold: major interventions in agricultural practices and a trustworthy government that financially supports these. Dr. Brandon Zicha is Assistant Professor of Policy Science at Leiden University College and Joes de Natris is Leiden University College alumnus and PhD candidate at the University of Groningen.
Midst of the corona crisis, many crucial sectors are expected to be affected; on of which food and agriculture. Zicha and Natris’s study focuses on the impact of the Netherlands’ food dependency on imports in a crisis like this. What used to be an opportunity for prosperity could now turn into a risk.
Dangers in the Global Food Supply
A fourth of the Dutch import originates in countries where hygiene and healthcare are compromised. Therefore, when the virus gets a foothold there, immense consequences could follow on the imported food products. In fact, the United Nations as well as the World Health Organization are already warning from problems in the global food supply which indicates that the Netherlands can be under pressure.
Agricultural Interventions and Financial Support
The study concludes that, both commercially and politically, the government should be able to absorb the shock of the crisis if and when it happens. This means shifting the dependency from exports to national products, resulting in changes in agricultural choices and market opportunities. Dutch farmers, for example, should be provided with protection from potential risks as well as enough capital, coordination and information around the Dutch market. The government will thus have to establish its reliability and manifest its helping capacities if the Netherlands was to resolve the food imports dependency.