Piet Adema named new Minister of Agriculture
Former deputy Piet Adema will be the new Minister of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality, coalition party ChristenUnie announced. He succeeds Henk Staghouwer, who resigned unexpectedly early last month. He said he was not the right person to lead the Ministry.
Adema’s appointment comes two days before Johan Remkes will publish his report on negotiations between the Cabinet and the agriculture sector. The Netherlands needs to reduce its nitrogen emissions significantly. Farmers have vehemently protested the Cabinet’s plans to do so, which would see many farmers close their businesses through voluntary buyout schemes, among other things.
It is now up to Adema, together with Nitrogen Minister Christianne van der Wal, to find a way out of the nitrogen problems and come up with concrete arrangements for farmers who don’t want to shut down their businesses.
“Agriculture has a future in our country,” said Adema. Livestock farmers, arable farmers, horticulturists, and fishermen need “clarity, peace, and security” for the turnaround that these sectors have to go through. The Cabinet wants to move towards circular agriculture and wants more farmers to farm in a greener way.
Adema was chairman of the ChristenUnie between 2013 and 2021. Before that, he was a deputy in the province of Friesland. He also served as mayor in several municipalities.
Staghouwer resigned amidst criticism of how he handled the nitrogen crisis, not only from parliament but also in the sector. Farmers long awaited his plan to offer them prospects for the future, but when he published the much-maligned "nitrogen map," the piece lacked concrete measures. He promised to revise the plan, but that hasn’t happened yet as the Cabinet is awaiting the outcome of the nitrogen talks with farmers led by Johan Remkes. Remkes will publish his findings on Wednesday.
In the past weeks, Staghouwer’s post was managed by Carola Schouten, the ChristenUnie Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Poverty Policy.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he is happy that “the team is complete again.”
Reporting by ANP and NL Times