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Minister of Agriculture: competitive agriculture is the best food security guarantee

22. November 2012 - 0:00

22.11.2012

 

Addressing the Parliament of Estonia, Helir-Valdor Seeder, the Minister of Agriculture, told that Estonia must ask itself where is the balance between industrial production and traditional family farms and how to maintain food production and the more purposeful use of land resources.

 

Late last night, the Parliament of Estonia adopted the declaration on "Estonian agriculture and the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy", appealing to the EU Member States, the European Parliament and the European Commission for a system of direct payments ensuring competitive parity for all farmers of the European Union.

According to the Minister’s words, lower salaries, higher diligence, rapid concentration of industry and industrialisation concurrent with the complicated situation of family farms have been the price Estonian agriculture forced to compete on unequal terms has had to pay for survival. „Besides efficient large-scale agriculture we also need small-scale farming, family farms, to maintain rural settlement and landscapes and to diversify agricultural production,“ said Seeder and added that in Estonia the supply of food, the production for export and the introduction of modern technology will mainly concern large producers in the future.

The Minister of Agriculture declared that Estonia wishes competitive parity. „Perpetuating the differences between incomes and standards of living with different direct payments cannot be the aim of the Common Agricultural Policy. Estonia does not wish higher support payments but equal opportunities on the EU internal market,“ said Seeder.

„Competitive agriculture is the best food security guarantee. But this requires competitive parity. The last version of the negotiation paper on the EU new financial period provides that „in a more equal distribution of direct payments between the Member States the still existing differences in wage levels, purchasing power, outputs of the sector of agriculture and input prices are considered“. „I don’t understand how is it possible that despite considering all those indicators direct payments can differ so much between the Member States,“ said Seeder.

 „I want to extend my thanks to the members of the Parliament for your initiative, attention and support given to Estonian agriculture with this declaration. This means that the success of the sector of agriculture of recent years has been met with approval, but it also gives the public a message that agriculture is one of the priorities of Estonia,“ the Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder acknowledged the members of the Parliament.  

Karin Volmer
Ministry of Agriculture of Estonia
Press Officer
e-mail: karin.volmer@agri.ee
phone: +372 625 6254
mobile: +372 5696 4876