Current status and potential of care farms in the Netherlands

J. Hassink, Ch. Zwartbol, H.J. Agricola, M. Elings, J.T.N.M. Thissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Surveys among care farmers and data from the National Agricultural Census were analysed to describe the care-farming sector in the Netherlands. The number of care farms increased from 75 in 1998 to 591 in 2005. Care farming is the fastest growing sector of multifunctional agriculture. In 2005, nearly 10,000 clients made use of care farms, of which 8000 used non-institutional care farms. The main client groups were mentally challenged clients, psychiatric clients, autistic persons, elderly people and youths. The average annual revenue of care activities on a non-institutional care farm was about ¿ 73,000, which amounts to annual revenues of ¿ 37.1 million for the total Dutch non-institutional care-farming sector. The annual revenue for care activities was considerably higher than for other extended activities. Care farming resulted in 473 additional jobs in 2005. The prospects of care farming are positive and the growth in number of care farms is expected to continue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-36
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • agriculture
  • agricultural statistics
  • labour
  • farm results
  • ancillary enterprises
  • social services
  • social care farms


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