Kaspars Gerhards: liming of acid agricultural soil must be eligible for CAP support
On Thursday, October 31, in Tartu, Estonia, Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister for Agriculture and experts from the Ministry of Agriculture had a meeting with the Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic States and Poland - Mart Jarvik, Estonian Minister for Rural Affairs, Andrius Palionis, Lithuanian Minister for Agriculture and Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, Polish Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development and responsible officials.
The Ministers and officials discussed effectiveness of the climate and environmental conditions and compliance of these requirements with the funding of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
“It is very important for us that the climate and environmental conditions can be effectively implemented at the level of a Member State, but having been receiving the lowest level of area payments for a long time, with deep concern we are looking ahead to how the new requirements will influence competitiveness of our farmers. In my opinion, the climate and environmental requirements must be adequate to CAP funding, the system of conditions must be more flexible, eco-scheme and agri-environment conditions must be equalized as well as some clarity must be introduced in implementation of the most suitable eco-schemes,” Kaspars Gerhards is certain.
At the meeting, the Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic States and Poland discussed topical issues on the environment and climate, particularly, soil liming necessity, and agreed on a joint position in the coming CAP negotiations.
“Latvia supports the initiative proposed by Estonia on eligibility of soil liming to aid under the Common Agricultural Policy,” said Kaspars Gerhards, the Minister. “In Latvia, almost half of agricultural land needs both the annual maintenance liming and basic liming, in some regions, even up to 60 percent of soil. Currently, liming is shouldered by farmers and, taking into account the high costs, it is not done sufficiently.”
The Ministers for Agriculture of the Baltic States and Poland signed the joint declaration to the European Commission on benefits for climate and environment of a systematic liming of acid agricultural soils In their declaration, the Ministers invite the commission to include the liming of acid agricultural soil in CAP climate and environmental measures as an adequate practice in the climate and environmental eco-schemes and in climate, environmental and other management commitments.
The scope of discussions of the Ministers and experts also covered the former experience with eradication of food falsifications.
In Tartu, the Ministers met representatives of non-governmental organizations of the three Baltic States and discussed current tasks to be carried out linked to CAP reform and EU multiannual budget negotiations.
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