At Güstrow, farmers, cooks and technicians show what the agricultural and food industry has to offer. However, the weather almost brought the Mela trade fair to a standstill for a short time.
Mühlengeez (dpa/mv) - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig used the opening of the Mela agricultural fair to reaffirm her demand for an energy price cap. A price cap for the basic energy supply for the population and companies is missing in the federal relief package, said the SPD politician on Thursday at the opening of the Mela in Mühlengeez (Rostock district) in front of several hundred spectators. The energy crisis is also hitting the agriculture and food industry hard. The state government wants to keep the agricultural sector, which is "essentially important", strong. "Without them we would have no bread, meat, potatoes or milk on the table."
Farmers could not so easily save electricity, said the SPD politician. Milk cooling or greenhouses cannot simply be switched off. The State Farmers' Association had repeatedly emphasized that the high fuel and energy prices hit the industry harder than the Corona crisis and asked for help. "We are facing huge challenges," said association president Detlef Kurreck with a view to political decisions in Berlin and Brussels. The agricultural industry needs guidelines that give it a future and not constant new restrictions, as was the case recently with fertilizer regulations.
Until Sunday, around 800 exhibitors from Germany and abroad at the Mela, including 32 new exhibitors, will be showing the latest agricultural technology, giving energy tips and providing insights into animal husbandry and the processing of grain, fruit, vegetables and meat - even in cooking studios. Visitor magnets are the demonstrations by the animal breeding associations. A total of around 1000 animals from more than 200 breeds are shown at the Mela, including horses, beef and dairy cattle with calves, sheep, poultry and rabbits. Because of African swine fever, pigs are not allowed to be shown.
The "Horse and Dog" fair will be held parallel to the Mela. "Animal of the Mela" is the spotted rabbit. Around 130 of these animals, which are bred in different breeds, can be seen. The spectrum ranges from small piebalds weighing three kilograms to giant piebalds weighing 8.5 kilograms. They are referred to as spotted because of their distinctive fur markings.
From noon on the first day of the trade fair, visitors also had to put up with longer periods of rain and a power failure after heavy rain.
Last year, guests still had to show proof of corona vaccinations or tests at the entrance. That was not the case this year. Before Corona, the Mela had more than 60,000 visitors and, according to State Minister of Agriculture Till Backhaus (SPD), is the most important trade fair in north-eastern Germany. Current energy and cost problems in the industry with 50,000 employees as well as food security will also be discussed at specialist forums.
Prime Minister Schwesig was on her way back to Schwerin around noon, but wants to come back on Saturday. "There is no date in the country that starts with such great animals," said Schwesig, looking at the animal show behind him.