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Water & Agrifood


As the world’s population increases, so too the pressure on food production. Climate change, drought, flooding, rising sea level, land subsidence and salination are exacerbating the situation, as is soil depletion caused by intensive farming. In this scenario, NWP mediates to bring the expertise of the Dutch agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture sector to areas where it can be used.

Why is it relevant to NWP and what is our aim?

Despite its small size, the Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter of fruit and vegetables. One of the contributing factors for this success is its expertise in water management and agriculture, including in greenhouse cultivation. NWP sees opportunities for the Dutch water and agriculture sectors to make an impact internationally and boost food security worldwide. To this end, NWP plays a pivotal role in matchmaking between experts in the Dutch water and agriculture sectors and entities wanting to increase crop yields in regions with unreliable water supplies or salinised land. 

Some of the areas that the Dutch water sector work in are:

  • governance
  • reuse of water
  • water storage
  • efficient use of water
  • integrated water management
  • water management in greenhouse agriculture
  • collection and use of nutrients

Strategic alliances

Instrumental in its work is NWP’s strategic partnerships and collaborations with organisations like the Netherlands Food Partnership, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality,  the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), and NWP members working on the interlinkage between water & food. NWP connects the water sector and agribusiness to address worldwide food security. 

In 2021, NWP launched the Water for Food Programme with support from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality to stimulate and facilitate the Dutch water sector and agrifood partners to develop business cases within the water for food nexus.

In 2022,  the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) and NWP partnered up to strengthen the cooperation of the Dutch Saline Water and Food Systems sector in the international context to address the challenge of salinity. This is how the Saline Water & Food Systems Partnership was established with the goal to address the challenge of salinity in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The partnership consists of knowledge institutes, a broad variety of the business community including innovative SMEs, and locally operating experts. It is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.  

NWP also hosts the Secretariat of the Nutrient Platform which strives to close the nutrient cycle and create a sustainable market for recycled nutrients. Corporations, knowledge institutes and government cooperate to promote nutrient recycling; create awareness on nutrient issues; and develop markets for recycled nutrients.

Making connections

Are you looking for an international partnership or collaboration on water and agrifood? Or are you looking for Dutch expertise on water for food? Contact the Netherlands Water Partnership.

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NWP's areas of expertise