K. Gerhards, the Minister: condition for climate measures of the EU Common Agricultural Policy must be well-weighed and acceptable for all the Member States, the Baltic States included
Friday, April 30, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture had an online meeting with the new Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic States - Urmas Kruuse, Estonian Minister of Rural Affairs and Kęstutis Navickas, Lithuanian Minister for Agriculture, to discuss the issues topical for all three Baltic States.
Discussing the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Ministers of the Baltic States noted that it is very important to agree on CAP regulations in due time. Agreeing on what and how many measures Latvian farmers and food producers will have to implement to ensure that the European Union achieves the ambitious Green Deal objectives is a priority issue.
Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture: “Farmers will have to meet many obligatory climate and environmental requirements. Latvian farmers are currently receiving the EU direct payments by 20 percent lower than European Union average. If 20 percent more will be deducted from these direct payments and channeled to eco-schemes, there is a risk that Latvia will not be able to ensure even the current level of basic income support for farmers. Latvia cannot support such an approach, conditions for agriculture and climate measures must be well-weighed and acceptable for all the Member States, also for Baltic States.”
Regarding implementation of the EU strategy “From farm to fork”, the Ministers of Baltic States exchanged opinions on the most significant COM proposals and major challenges the States will have to consider upon implementation of these objectives.
Speaking on the support for recovery of rural economy after outbreak of Covid-19, the sector of agriculture and food industry of the Baltic States has been supported by different measures, including financial resources enabling rural businesses to survive in extremely unfavorable market situation. Last year, Latvia channeled considerable financial resources into this sector, particularly in milk sector and animal husbandry, enabling rural entrepreneurs to continue the significant task providing the State with food. The support is also continued this year, amongst others, in the form of advance payment of the EU direct payments with guarantees and loans for rural businesses and measures facilitating cooperation.
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