Farmers in Northern Europe hit by drought
Weeks of extreme heat and very little rain are threatening the existence of Northern Europe's farmers. Drought conditions have been reported in Latvia and in Sweden and Denmark meat farmers have had to slaughter their livestock for lack of feed. What can be done to help the farmers?
Swedes, buy Swedish meat!
The government and people of Sweden must do what they can to support the country's farmers, Sydsvenskan stresses:
“Sweden's willingness to help in emergency situations is being put to the test. First of all our farmers must be able to survive a dry summer. ... The government and parliament must review our regulations and routines. Farmers in crisis must quickly receive the support they need, and the people can do their bit by choosing Swedish meat at stores. That way farmers who are forced to cull part of their livestock will at least be paid a bit better.”
Farmers need insurance
It's not just the current drought that is giving Latvia's farmers a hard time, Dienas Bizness points out, calling for the introduction of insurance against loss of income:
“Even the owners of ski resorts registered huge losses after the warm winter. And businesses that have taken out loans, export their products and have suddenly experienced a drop on export markets aren't getting any compensation. ... The ministry of agriculture, which in recent years has been in the hands of the Farmers and Greens Union, should stop lazing around and start thinking about how to introduce an exhaustive farm risk insurance system. Because without state participation in this area the job just can't be done.”
Farmers must not foot the bill alone
Der Nordschleswiger also calls on the state to help the farmers:
“Summer holidays or not, parliament must urgently put together a package to the farmers' benefit. Politicians aren't responsible for the weather, but they are responsible for our laws and regulations: the farmers' could be paid ahead of schedule, and their own payments could be interrupted. The agricultural associations have an entire catalogue of proposals as to how the farmers can be taken by the arm. If nothing happens now the farmers and their families will pay the price, irrespective of their own situation. Apart from the good weather, that's what is most frustrating for them.”