Agriculture ministers of the European Union on Monday discussed ramifications of the war in Ukraine, strategic plans within the Common Agricultural Policy, as well as the drought in Hungary, the Hungarian agriculture ministry told MTI in a statement.
Agriculture Minister István Nagy said that Hungary was in the process of preparing the national plan for the European Union’s reformed common agricultural policy (CAP), which could be completed in the next few weeks. The extraordinary drought situation, which has been put on the agenda at the initiative of Hungary, means that farmers should be exempt from obligations concerning mowing weed around their lands, the Minister stressed at the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels on Monday.
Regarding the situation on the agricultural markets, the Minister stressed the need for a EU policy to reduce the unpredictability of the situation. The stabilization of agricultural activity in the Ukrainian regions is top priority, as the world needs the crops produced there for both human and animal consumption.
István Nagy called for an immediate ceasefire so that farmers in Ukraine could complete their harvest. He called for common policies to reduce the prevalent uncertainty, and said farming in Ukraine should be stabilized since “the world needs the food for humans and fodder for animals” produced in Ukraine. He also urged that “working solutions” should be found to free Black Sea ports currently under blockade. “Grain stores are full, and there is no room for this year’s harvest, while the farmers cannot sow their lands, therefore the produce of three years could be lost,” he said.
Concerning the drought in Hungary, the Hungarian government tabled several proposals to help farmers, Nagy said. Hungarian farmers can expect higher advance payments on their direct EU subsidies, he said, adding that he had asked the European Commission to exempt Hungarian farmers from certain sanctions. He insisted that farmers forced by dry weather to ensilate certain plants, for example, should not be penalized for trying to save the produce for fodder.
Featured photo illustration by Dániel Kiss/MTI