On 10th of October, in Parliament’s European Affairs Commission, the Conservatives did not support the position proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture in relation to the introduction of the “from field to table” strategy that was developed by the German Presidency of the European Union. The strategy covers the significant reduction of pesticide use in agriculture and the use of antibiotics in livestock farming, as well as developing more bio-certified areas.
Deputy Chairman of the Parliament’s European Affairs Commission Gatis Eglitis said, “We have sided with the German Presidency, which sets out concrete measures to make our rural environment cleaner and would encourage the growth of organic farms.”
Since the New Conservative Party advocates systematic support for new, small and medium-sized farm owners, we believe that the Ministry of Agriculture should also provide mechanisms to support these farmers.
The New Conservatives have consistently committed themselves to the following principles for allocating European and national funding to agriculture:
- Setting a ceiling of EUR 100 000 for annual area payments, as well as EUR 500 000 for investment projects per holding during the planning period; the situation where a fifth of the holdings receives 80% of available funding is not motivating for the development of small and medium-sized holdings.
- Increasing direct payments for the first 300 hectares.
- By introducing bigger systematic support for crop farming, olericulture, and horticulture, as well as biofarming.
Similarly, more aggressive involvement of “Altum” in riskier agricultural segments, such as loans to new farmers or more extensive provision-free, low-interest loans and guarantee offers, is also important.
With this in mind, we will achieve opportunities for Latvian farms of all sizes and develop more organic farms, where, among other things, each grown grain will be of higher added value.