EC proposes €11M support for drought-affected farmers

  • Lusa
  • 26 June 2023

The new support package (which is mobilised on the basis of a crisis reserve) will consist of €330 million for 22 member states.

The European Commission has proposed €11 million in support for farmers in Portugal, out of a total of €330 million for 22 European Union (EU) member states affected by adverse climatic events, such as drought.

“The Commission proposes to mobilise additional community funding for EU farmers affected by adverse climatic events, high input costs and various market and trade related issues,” the institution announces in a press release.

In total, the new support package (which is mobilised on the basis of a crisis reserve) will consist of €330 million for 22 member states and, of this sum, some €11.6 million concerns Portugal and its drought situation.

“EU farmers in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden will benefit from this exceptional support of €330 million from the Common Agricultural Policy budget,” explains the EU executive.

The national authorities will be responsible for distributing these funds “directly to farmers in order to compensate them for economic losses due to market disturbances, the consequences of high input prices and the rapid fall in the prices of agricultural products, and, where appropriate, damage caused by the recent climatic events, which have been particularly severe on the Iberian Peninsula”, indicates the institution.

In addition, “countries may complement this EU support up to 200% with national funds”, it adds.

The proposal comes after the member states have shared with Brussels their assessments of the difficulties faced by their respective agricultural sectors.

As it is a crisis reserve, the measure will be voted on by the countries at the next meeting of the committee for the common organisation of agricultural markets.

Also today at the Agriculture Council, EU ministers approved a €100 million support package for farmers in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, based on another proposal from Brussels.

“Several other measures, including the possibility of higher advance payments, should support farmers affected by adverse climatic events,” according to the European Commission.

The agricultural sector has been under pressure since the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in the prices of energy and agricultural inputs such as fertilisers following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a scenario to which has been added the severe drought on the Iberian Peninsula.