Estonian rural affairs minister: We must take good care of our food producers

  • 2023-03-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - A meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council was held in Brussels on Monday where the future of the fisheries and aquaculture sector and the situation of agricultural markets was discussed.

Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse said that in Estonia's opinion, both financial and regulative stimuli are needed to renew the European Union's fishing fleet.

"We need to enable the use of equipment based on more efficient technology and the replacement of equipment with that based on cleaner energy sources. It would help bring about structural changes in the fisheries sector," Kruuse said.

The EU ministers also discussed the situation in agricultural markets. Kruuse said that many agricultural businesses have a large debt burden, which means that the increase in interest rates affects their profitability.

"The growth in interest rates and rapid inflation also greatly affect consumers' purchasing power which, in turn, results in decreased demand," he said. The prices of energy carriers meanwhile have slightly dropped, which makes the situation slightly easier for producers.

"Markets remain turbulent for producers. It is undoubtedly good news that energy prices and, as a result, also the prices of fertilizers have dropped slightly in recent months.

During the day, under other business, ministers received information on the future of the EU-Morocco SFPA protocol, farming and forestry aspects of the nature restoration law, and the Commission’s communication on a new deal for pollinators.

The Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs was represented at the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council by the Estonian minister of rural affairs, Urmas Kruuse. He was accompanied by deputy secretary generals Madis Partel and Siim Tiidemann and head of the department of foreign relations and euro-coordination Peeter Seestrand.