The Living Lab
The Netherlands is one of the most urbanised countries in the European Union with a population density of 523/km2. In 2015, however, about half of the surface area was used for agriculture, while about a third was for nature, water or used for recreation. Urban expansion threatens the future of rural areas while offering opportunities for new business models, among others, through various green, recreational and ecological services. At the same time, there is ongoing discussion about the need for agricultural production models to comply with environmental regulations. Women play an important role in agriculture and rural society but are less visible compared to men, particularly in agriculture.
About 25% of farm women co-manage the farm with their partner or parent but are usually not co-owners of the land. They are generally less well represented in the interests of organisations or committees engaged in sectoral and regional policy-making. Rural women are generally engaged in paid labour and many voluntary activities. How many of them are entrepreneurially active is impossible to establish given the significant lack of data to confirm the position of women in agricultural or rural areas. Currently, we are discussing with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food about the collection of more gender-segregated data.