Drought relief on the agenda of the Agricultural Council

The EU farm ministers discussed problems linked with drought on 22 July amid calls from farmers’ organisations to grant immediate assistance to the drought-stricken agricultural sector in Europe.

Italy, France, Germany and Austria, countries worst hit by the drought over the recent months, have called for the matter to be discussed by the Agricultural Council on 22 July. The Council took account of the damage to European farming caused by extreme heat and record drought. Farmers in some regions are expecting up to 80 per cent fewer crops due to water shortages and storms caused by the heat wave.

The ministers agreed to release stored grain and rice to feed animals at risk from the drought. They also agreed to bring forward some of the CAP payments to help farmers deal with the difficulties. However, there was no discussion of possible disaster relief.

COPA and COGECA, the largest farmers' organisations in the EU, have called on the farm ministers to offer emergency assistance to the European regions that have been ravaged by extreme heat and drought over the past few months. The two organisations warned that the situation "has had truly catastrophic consequences for farmers and the agricultural sector in these regions".


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