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At a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers on Monday, Agriculture Minister István Nagy called for speedy action to support farmers amid skyrocketing fertiliser prices. The sector, he said, was badly hit by sanctions-related energy price rises and the proposals presented at the meeting were effective only in longer term. “Farmers need help now,” he said.
At the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH), Nagy said the European Commission’s proposal was merely “a summary of steps already taken and means already at our disposal”. Prioritising organic manure and sustainable materials are “doubtless good and useful initiatives” but do not offer solutions to the situation caused by rising energy prices, the ministry cited Nagy as telling the meeting. At times when food security is threatened by skyrocketing fertiliser prices and input costs, farmers need EU support as soon as possible, he said.
As “botched Brussels sanctions” are at the root of the price rises, which are “completely independent from agriculture”, the funding should not burden the Common Agricultural Policy alone, he said. Meanwhile, the most effective handling of the situation would be to reach for a ceasefire and peace talks, as that would stabilise energy markets and thereby the challenges of the farming sector, he said.