Climate Action

EU offers support to European farmers fighting drought conditions

The European Commission is taking action to help farms suffering under the conditions of prolonged dry weather.

  • 03 August 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

The European Commission is taking action to help farms suffering under the conditions of prolonged dry weather.

Farmers will be able access an advanced payment up to 85 percent of their subsidy allowance under the existing Common Agricultural Policy. This avoids farms having to wait until December before their cash flow could improve.

Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, said: "I am very concerned about these prolonged climatic developments. I have been in contact with a number of ministers from affected countries to discuss the situation and get up-to-date assessments of its impact.”

The Commission has also agreed to a request from eight Member States to temporary halt environmental measures to help existing land recover from production; Member States can also grant aid of up to 15,000 euros per farmer over three years without breaking state aid rules.

“The Commission, as always, is ready to support farmers affected by drought using a number of instruments, including higher advance payments, derogations from greening requirements and state aid. The Common Agricultural Policy already provides a safety net for farmers who have to deal with unpredictable events. I am encouraging all Member States to look into all possible actions and measures provided for in our legislation," Hogan added.

German and UK farmers have both been calling for financial assistance after continued high temperatures and lack of rainfall have ruined crop yields.

The German Farmers Association, DBV, has requested 1 billion euros from the Federal Government to help some of the affected areas in the north and east of the country.

"We expect billions in losses," said Joachim Rukwied, president of the DBV. "The government needs to declare a state of emergency so that farmers in areas hit hardest by the drought can be helped directly with cash aid."