High inflation is causing problems for German farmers. In light of the Ukraine war, they would have to produce more than ever. For this reason, Farmers' President Rukwied is calling for political changes at national and EU level. Other acreage should also help.
The German Farmers' Association complains about the massive increase in costs for farmers and therefore expects further increases in food prices. "Fertilizer costs four times as much, feed costs twice as much, diesel is almost unaffordable," said farmer president Joachim Rukwied to the broadcaster NDR Info. "We farmers simply need higher prices in order to be able to produce at all."
In view of the far-reaching consequences of the Ukraine war for the agricultural markets, Rukwied emphasized the key role of farmers in ensuring security of supply. "The supply crisis triggered by the Ukraine war in some regions of the world cannot be resolved without agriculture," said Rukwied in his keynote address at the German Farmers' Day in Lübeck.
"We German farmers can, want and must make our contribution to overcoming this crisis," said the President of the German Farmers' Association. He described security of supply as a "strategic and political task for Germany and Europe". For this it is necessary that the supply of nitrogen fertilizers is secured and that the entire food industry is prioritized in the gas supply, demanded Rukwied and also pleaded for open trade routes.
He also spoke out in favor of putting the so-called farm-to-fork strategy ("from the farm to the table") to the test, with which the EU wants to bring about a far-reaching change towards more sustainable agriculture. "If Russia uses grain deliveries as a political weapon, the West cannot practice cutting back on production," said Rukwied. "This sword needs to be blunted, and we can blunt it." With a temporary use of additional areas, 1.4 million tons more wheat could be produced. He expects politicians to use this instrument.
In addition, the future funding rules within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) would have to be "adjusted", demanded the farmer's president. The reform of the CAP for the future distribution of EU agricultural subsidies worth billions aims to make the common agricultural policy greener and fairer. Farmers could also make a further contribution to easing the current energy crisis if restrictions in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and in the approval law were temporarily lifted, Rukwied continued.
At the same time, the farmers' president confirmed that it was important to make further progress on the issues of climate protection, biodiversity and animal welfare. "We mustn't slow down here, I'll say that in no uncertain terms." Not least in view of the precarious situation in pig farming, speed is now required when converting animal husbandry. "Our livestock owners now have to know quickly what's going on. To do this, we need stable financing for the conversion and at the same time changes in building and approval laws," he demanded.