The European Commission will extend the temporary relaxation of two parts of the new agricultural policy in favor of the declining Ukrainian exports for a year. Also for the 2023 season, crop rotation and set-aside will be suspended in some areas, so that more grain can be harvested in the EU countries.
Agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said on Monday, at the start of the monthly LNV ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, that he will submit that proposal to the other commissioners. This will almost certainly happen on Wednesday, at the weekly 'big' supervisory board meeting.
The European Parliament's Agriculture Committee and European agricultural umbrella organizations have also requested an extension of the relaxation. With his announcement, Wojciechowski prevented the ministers from having to ask for it, just like at the beginning of this year. At least sixteen ministers said in a response that they agreed to it; eight countries – including the Netherlands – abstained from expressing support or responding in agreement.
To compensate for the lack of Russian and Ukrainian grains on world markets, the Commission had approved a “temporary” derogation in March, on an additional area of 4 million hectares. Regarding the 2022 harvest, Wojciechowski said: “We don't know what the fallow gebieden are that have actually been re-cultivated, it's probably much less than 4 million hectares, as the decision was made late in the season (…).
Under the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), farms larger than 15 hectares must have at least 5% of “gebieden of ecological interest” (meadows, hedges, trees, fallow land) in order to benefit from European funds. From January onwards, the new common agricultural policy will require that at least 4% must lie fallow in order to enhance biodiversity and soil enrichment.
However, the volumes of grain harvests in the EU in 2022 "already look better than in 2021" and the expected yields for next year "should hardly be lower", emphasized Janusz Wojciechowski, citing an initial estimate, which he believes will slow the growth. of the continent will strengthen. own food security and at the same time contribute to that of the world.