Minister Adema will talk to the European Commission about subsidies for farmers who become more sustainable. It was recently announced that payments to farmers under the so-called CAP eco scheme are much lower than previously thought. This subsidy scheme is intended to encourage European farmers to invest in sustainability and biodiversity.
But in the Netherlands, many more farmers have used the subsidy scheme than expected and the rates are now being adjusted downwards.
In the first debate of the new House of Representatives, MPs were very critical of the course of events. The entire House asked whether the minister can close the gap.
Adema: not easy
The outgoing minister had great understanding for the concerns of the House (and of the farmers involved), but he also said that it is not easy to compensate the farmers. Adema emphasized that he was pleasantly surprised that so many farmers were willing to commit to sustainability. “That’s a really good result.”
He understands that farmers are very disappointed when the amounts turn out differently than they had expected. “I think that’s bad, also when it comes to the reliability of the government.”
Adema pointed out that according to the agreements with the European Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture is not allowed to supplement the amount. He called this harsh and he will do his “best for the farmers” to get more space from the Commission. “If that doesn’t happen, we’ll be completely stuck.”
If the talks do not yield anything, the minister may come up with other measures, but he wants to do this step by step and in consultation with the farmers. Adema said he does not want to “demotivate” farmers who are trying to become more sustainable.
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