‘Eye for marginal pressure on farmers due to war in Ukraine’ – News Food Security


News food security

Today at 15.30

The government must be aware of the pressure on margins that arises among farmers as a result of the effects of the war in Ukraine. Industry organizations state this in so-called job papers which they have handed in to the round table discussion held tonight (May 10) in the House of Representatives with the theme ‘Global food security in wartime’.

According to various organizations, including LTO Nederland, BO Akkerbouw and Wageningen University & Research (WUR), the Netherlands and the EU do not have to worry about food security in the short term. The effects of the war in Ukraine particularly hurt poorer countries. “Neither for the EU nor for the Netherlands is food security at stake,” says WUR. “Both European and Dutch food systems are robust in the sense that they are able to withstand shock. But consumers with less purchasing power may be limited in their access to healthy food due to higher food prices, rising energy costs and other price increases.”

BO Akkerbouw considers it appropriate for the EU to consider its own food supply more of a strategic importance. In this context, according to the trade association, the Netherlands must provide a clearer picture of its own role in the EU’s food supply. To cope with the current high prices, the organization sees a lot in making the agricultural sector fossil-free as well as early payment of (EU) subsidies to farmers, ‘so that they have sufficient financial leeway to take care of their crops optimally.’.

Monitor earnings
LTO Nederland argues for monitoring the earning capacity of Dutch farmers and gardeners. “Corona and Ukraine are not the last crises. Therefore, agriculture and horticulture must be resilient if the next catastrophe presents itself: monitor the earning capacity of Dutch farmers and gardeners and mitigate the effects of the war in Ukraine. This can be done. chain responsibility in the event of cost increases and the reintroduction of red diesel. Ensure a solid European infrastructure for food chains – companies and governments – that can respond quickly if necessary. “

According to the Organization of Agriculture and Horticulture, farmers and gardeners in the Netherlands and the EU must be protected by a so-called “law on the strategic importance of agriculture and horticulture”. This is to ensure the strategic importance of food and protect agricultural land ‘against unrestrained purchases for nature, construction and industry, but also against purchases from foreign companies and powers’.

LTO Nederland also believes that the impact on food security should be carefully examined in European sustainability plans. The organization also points to the importance of reducing dependence on fertilizers: to deviate from the Nitrates Directive and make more use of fertilizer substitutes. According to LTO Nederland, the production of vegetable protein in the EU (for human and animal consumption) should also be stimulated.

“Do not intervene in the animal production chain”
According to Agrifirm, the government should in any case not intervene (in the short term) in the animal production chain ‘based on the idea that we thereby release grain to the consumer’. “That’s right, and maybe important in the long run, but the damage deeper down the chain is huge and will be felt and seen in the years to come.” What should the government do in the short term according to this cooperative? “First of all, you need to pay attention to dampening the price effect of consumer products.”

Agrifrim believes that help should also be offered to poorer countries where the war really hurts, but that farmers and gardeners should not be forgotten either. “Pay close attention to the short-term economic effects for farmers and growers. At times, there will be a lot of pressure on the advances for farmers and growers who need to be bridged.”

Several organizations and individuals are participating in the roundtable discussion ‘Global food security in wartime’, such as the Ukrainian farmer Kees Huizinga and the development organization Oxfam Novib. The round table discussion takes place tonight from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm and can be followed live via the House of Representatives’ website.


Linda van Eekeres

Linda van Eekeres is the co-writing editor-in-chief. She focuses mainly on macroeconomic developments and the impact of policy on the agricultural sector.

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