Agriculture minister to propose emergency measures as crop farmers sound alarm

NEWS 18.04.202317:39 0 komentara

Due to excessive grain imports from third countries, primarily Ukraine, prices of grains are at record-low levels and Croatian farmers are in an unfavourable situation, Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) members told Minister Marija Vuckovic on Tuesday and she promised to propose the adoption of emergency measures at EU level.

HPK head Mladen Jakopovic said the current situation on the grain market was due to the lifting of trade barriers between Ukraine and the EU, with Ukrainian grain, which was previously exported mostly to northern Africa, now ending up in European countries because that is more favourable for Ukrainian producers.

The price of grains has thus dropped to record-low levels, which puts the domestic farm sector in a very unfavourable situation ahead of the harvest, which should start in a few months, he said.

Noting that current grain prices were untenable, HPK Crop Farming Committee head Petar Pranjic said the current price of wheat is around €180 per tonne while the actual price should be between €280 and 300.

Crop farmers want Brussels to protect the Croatian market and compensate them for the losses incurred, he said, noting that because of solidarity with Ukraine they did not want to ask for the introduction of customs duties on Ukrainian imports.

Mato Brlosic of the HPK said that farmers in the EU must comply with certain standards, such as the use of plant protection products, which makes production more expensive compared to production in third countries, including Ukraine.

“We are not against Ukrainian grains or Ukrainian farmers but we want the European Commission to compensate us for the increased costs it imposed on us,” said Brlosic.

Minister will present proposals to Council

Minister Vuckovic said that she would explain the situation in detail at a session of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council next week and present possible consequences for Croatia and the EU, as well as put forward proposals regarding changes to market regulations as well as emergency measures for crop farmers, to be applied across the EU.

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