RIGA - Representatives of Latvia must strive to ensure that direct payments to farmers approach the average European Union level as soon as possible, President Egils Levits said on Wednesday.
Today Levits had a meeting at the Riga Castle with members of organizations representing the Farmers' Parliament - Edgars Treibergs, Maira Dzelzkaleja-Burmistre, Martins Trons, Guntis Gutmanis, Indulis Jansons, Mara Rudzate - to discuss the EU's multi-annual budget, Common Agricultural Policy priorities and financing.
Also discussed during the meeting were the future of direct payments, the importance of cooperation between farmers in different agricultural sectors, competition with large companies, and work on the agricultural policy strategy in the coming years.
Speaking about organic farming, representatives of the Farmers' Parliament emphasized that they supported the development of Latvia as a green country, but emphasized the need to understand with what support this could happen and how to provide for the demand in Latvia.
Dzelzkaleja-Burmistre emphasized that it would only be fair for farmers in all EU member countries to receive the same subsidies, which would ensure a level playing field in Europe.
During the meeting, representatives of the Farmers' Parliament presented their opinions on current agricultural problems in Latvia and Europe in general.
One of the main problems repeatedly voiced in Latvia is labor shortages and local workers' disinterest in well-paid but difficult farm work, especially during the harvest season. Workers are also needed in dairy farming all year round, representatives of the Farmers' Parliament said.