Adequate EU funding needed to tackle agricultural crises - Krauze

  • 2024-05-28
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - At the meeting of the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, Agriculture Minister Armands Krauze (Greens/Farmers) stressed that adequate EU funding is needed to overcome various agricultural crises, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture informed LETA.

Krauze pointed out that at the EU level, it is necessary to work more actively on forecasting and timely prevention of various crises, rather than on eliminating their consequences. Crisis management in agriculture and food production at EU level requires a proactive and structured approach with clear criteria for funding, policy coherence and flexible financial management to mitigate and prevent the effects of crises in a timely manner.

The crisis situation and challenges in agriculture and food production need to be tackled not only by Member States but at EU level, Krauze notes. He stresses that the current EU Common Agricultural Policy funding of EUR 450 million per year for the whole EU is insufficient. There is also a need to find more effective ways of using this funding to respond to various market disturbances, adverse weather conditions and the impact of climate change.

The Minister mentions the need to strengthen farmers' capacity to take risks and responsibility for their consequences by improving access to knowledge and raising awareness. The use of insurance against climate risks, which is one of the most appropriate instruments to mitigate losses from climate risks, should also be promoted more widely.

Krauze also calls on the EU to impose even stricter restrictions on imports of Russian and Belarusian food and agricultural products into the EU. He stresses that the products of aggressor countries must be made unattractive to EU Member States. Latvia has therefore issued a statement, joined by six other Member States, calling on the European Commission to come forward with customs tariffs on a wider range of Russian and Belarusian products.

The situation in agriculture remains fragile and measures at EU level are needed to ensure that farmers, who face stricter requirements and higher production costs, can maintain their position on world markets. Adequate financial support for the high standards that EU producers must meet, in particular for innovation and modernization, should also be ensured, the Agriculture Minister noted.

Reacting to the European Milk Council Board protest in Brussels on May 27, Krauze said that the EU must find real and effective solutions to ensure that farmers receive a fair income for their work. He explains that since the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, agriculture and food production in the EU are in crisis.

Krauze also notes that the burden often falls entirely on farmers and food producers. Farmers must therefore be paid fairly for what they produce. The farmer and the food producer should have priority throughout the food production chain and should not suffer as a result of the actions of food distributors and retail chains. This can be achieved by strengthening the market power of farmers and food producers, by improving the regulation of the prohibition of unfair trading practices.

As reported, at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels, Member States discussed how to tackle the various crises in agriculture and food production caused by external factors more quickly and effectively in the future, as well as the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on the EU agricultural market.