King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visited exhibitions of Irish agriculture and collaborative projects between Ireland and the Netherlands in the National Botanic Gardens.

Mary Delaney from the Irish Farmers Journal escorted the king and queen on their tour of exhibits.

Padraig Brennan received the royal visitors on behalf of Bord Bia and provided an overview of the Irish agri food industry.

Carbon navigator

Of particular interest to the king was the carbon navigator tool, which measures reduction in carbon production on farms parallel to driving greater efficiency and financial reward.

John Gilliland from Devenish Nutrition introduced the lighthouse farms concept, involving a spread of farms across the world.

The Netherlands King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima on their visit to Botanic gardens

The Irish angle involves a collaboration between UCD, the university of Wageningen in the Netherlands and the Devenish owners of Dowth Farm.

The king enjoyed a virtual tour using specialised glasses and even planted a virtual tree in the process.

Dairy presentation

The king and queen also visited a smart dairy farming presentation delivered by Teagasc, the Tyndall Institute and TNO, the Dutch research agency which frequently collaborates with Teagasc.

They were also introduced to Agrocycle in context of EH food waste reduction, climate change, circular economy, by representatives of UCD and Maynooth who explained their roles in the project, as well as Irish and Dutch bio economy strategies.