Panel: Despite crises, Europe still globally strong food producer

NEWS 26.04.202220:11 0 komentara
Photo by rajeev ramdas on Unsplash

Despite the crises Europe has been faced with over the past few years, it is still a strong producer of food, of primary agricultural products and processed products, and it has a sustainable agricultural policy, a panel discussion on the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) heard on Tuesday. Pročitaj više

Addressing the panel discussion on the CAP and community sustainability, which was organised by the European Commission Representation in Croatia, Croatia’s Minister of Agriculture, Marija Vuckovic, said that over the past few years Europe had been faced with crises that no one could have foreseen but that common European frameworks had proven to be able to buffer the impact of those crises and poverty risks.

She underscored that in the wake of the crisis caused by the Covid pandemic and the Russian aggression against Ukraine, one was right to raise the issue of energy and food, warning that energy accounts for 5 percent of global GDP and food for 2 percent, however, “without that 7 percent the other 93 percent doesn’t exist.”

Vuckovic recalled that the government had responded to the energy crisis with a programme worth 4.8 billion kuna and that it had recognised the possible danger of rising food prices on time. “We will continue responding to crises with national funds and those that we will obtain in cooperation with the European Commission and in that way secure agricultural production,” she said.

She added that it was important to not give up on structural changes such as the creation of sustainable food chains, and to continue working on competitiveness and the green and digital transformation of society.

“These past two years have shown that we need to be more expedient in responding to crises, hence the joint European frameworks should result in a stronger Europe that will respond faster to crises and not give up on common strategic objectives,” said Vuckovic.

The head of the European Commission Representation to Croatia, Ognian Zlatev, said that the fight against climate change was the most important task for this generation and that with its Recovery and Resilience Mechanism the European Commission supported EU member states to implement the strategic green and digital transition.

A representative of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK), Mato Brlosic, said that digitisation will facilitate the use of machinery, however, a precondition for that is broadband internet connectivity throughout Croatia, which currently is not the case.

As regards demands put by CAP before farmers, notably with regard to green agriculture and organic production, that will be extremely expensive, and there is also the question of how to provide 170,000 family farms with the necessary information because the HPK, which is responsible for that, has only five employees, warned Brlošić.

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