TOMATO-GROWING IN THE NETHERLANDS AND ON THE INDIVIDUAL HOLDING

A.P. Verhaegh
In the past two decades there has been very great technological progress in tomato production in The Netherlands. Production per man-hour rose from 6.6 kg in 1954 to 20 kg in 1968. In view of the relation between daylight and production, an increase in production of tomatoes grown in heated greenhouses may also be expected in the 'seventies'.

Owing to the stepping-up of production on the existing holdings and/or the entry on the scene of other producers, the supply of tomatoes has become so abundant that it has outstripped demand, with the result that, generally speaking, profits were pressed downwards in the 'sixties'.

Besides the growers who sustain economic losses, there are many with comparable holdings and crops, who achieve good or even very goo economic results. These differences in results are closely connected with differences in the sphere of management.

Technological progress is due to several factors. To keep his head above water, every grower must familiarise himself with all new techniques. In practice this "familiarisation" does not take place on all fronts at once. This applies just as much to a specific technique in relation to various holdings as to various techniques on a specific holding. So the profit consequent upon adopting a production-raising factor, such as application of extra carbon dioxide earlier than another holding, may be gained by holdings with a good, medium or very low production level. A specific holding with a modern type of greenhouse does not apply extra carbon dioxide, so it forfeits the profit to be had from this procedure. Both holdings with good results and holdings with less good results may initiate or adopt new advances that lead to improved economic results. There are also holdings of both types that do not immediately adopt new techniques. In the course of the years this has resulted in changes in the ranking list as regards the economic position of individual holdings. The decision, by holdings of whatever type, not to adopt immediately new techniques will be determined partly by the great progress, reflected in the rise in production per hour of work, that has already taken place. Specific characteristics of the grower have greater influence in the short term than in the long. The changes within a number of years are less pronounced than they used to be. The grower's limited influence, particularly over long-term developments, gives rise to uncertainties as to the economic position of his holding.

There will always be fluctuations in nature and in the market, but using measures based on scientific thinking, it will probably become more and more within the bounds of possibility to banish these uncertainties. In view of the considerable effect which factors for which the grower

Verhaegh, A.P. (1974). TOMATO-GROWING IN THE NETHERLANDS AND ON THE INDIVIDUAL HOLDING. Acta Hortic. 40, 35-50
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1974.40.3
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1974.40.3
40_3
35-50

Acta Horticulturae