EU farmers need increased support due to energy prices caused by sanctions

The majority of ministers of agriculture requested the activation of agricultural reserve due to the negative impacts of high energy prices on agricultural sectors. As a consequence of the war and the sanctions imposed in response, farmers need increased EU support to guarantee food security – said István Nagy Minister of Agriculture in Brussels.

At the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 12 December, the majority of EU ministers of agriculture asked the European Commission to activate the EU agricultural reserve worth EUR 450 million for the management of agricultural crises. During the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture representing Hungary, István Nagy highlighted that increased energy prices, due to the war and the sanctions imposed in response to it, have escalated the cost of food production to such a level that even the gradually rising producer prices cannot offset it. The reason triggered the emerging crisis is completely independent of agriculture, for this reason we cannot expect farmers to deal with the situation on their own without help. Accordingly, increased EU support is needed without delay in order to ensure that farmers can guarantee food security – highlighted the Minister. The head of the ministry is confident that after today’s debate the European Commission will hear the request of the majority of member states and proposes to activate the agricultural reserve in the first months of next year, so that farmers in troubled sectors can get help as soon as possible.

István Nagy added, the cheapest and most effective way to deal with the crisis that has arisen would be an immediate ceasefire and peace. This would stabilize the energy markets, reduce the price of raw materials and thus solve the challenges of the agricultural sector that endanger food security, food supply and food affordability.