Agricultural policy: the federal government ensures Bauern Dürrehilfen

The crop damage caused by the drought has, according to the federal government, a "national dimension". That is why farmers must be supported with a total of 340 million euros. The farmers' association spoke of a good signal.

Farmers with heavy losses due to weeks of drought in many regions of Germany should receive emergency aid from the state of up to 340 million euros. With a view to crop damage of "national proportions", the federal government wants to give 150 to 170 million euros, as Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner stated in Berlin.

In addition, countries must contribute half of the total amount. All in all, according to national data, about 10,000 companies are so nationally affected that they are threatened in their existence.

The general threshold for assistance is that more than 30 percent of the average annual production in a company is destroyed. The federal government and the affected countries now want to jointly determine the concrete procedures for support.

Klöckner: "Must react quickly"

Klöckner said: "We must respond quickly and help the existentially threatened companies." Aid must be carried out by the countries, so that the money also ends up where it is urgently needed, she added.

Especially the livestock farms are affected, so Klöckner. This should be helped very quickly. She has initiated a regulation that makes ecological priority areas available. "The countries must respond quickly and pay the aid to these companies first."

14 federal states have registered interest in the program. According to Klöckner, only Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate wanted to use the aid so far.

Farmers Association: "Good signal"

The German farmers' association welcomed the Dürrehilfen. This is a "good signal for all farmers involved", said Association President Joachim Rukwied. Now the federal states should take over their responsibility and their share. Necessary is a "quick and unbureaucratic implementation of the Dürrehilfen".

Huge heat and drought

Mass drought has caused some serious crop failures this year, especially in the north and east. The Farmers Association reported in its balance sheet that national cereals amounted to 35.6 million tons and thus a minus of 22 percent compared to the previous year, resulting in losses to potatoes, sugar beet and especially in the cultivation of animal feed. In some regions, there are crop losses between 50 and 70 percent to total failures.

Peasant president Joachim Rukwied had previously spoken of a "miserable grain harvest". That is why it is imperative that the federal and state governments quickly start a tool with supporting measures for the affected companies.

Problems also with farmers

Many cattle farmers have acute problems: their food threatens to become scarce. Due to the drought, mowed grass is often not cultivated for the usual second and third cut. For this reason Klöckner has already initiated relief, so that additional areas can be used for the production of fodder crops.

The farmers' association had demanded support of up to one billion euros. He insists that aid for companies that need it can be paid as much as possible this year.

Most recently, in 2003, the Confederation participated in a financial aid for drought. At that time, he paid a total of 80 million euros with eight countries involved.

The Tagesschau and Deutschlandfunk have reported on this subject on 22 August 2018 at noon.

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