Europe

The state provides farmers with billions of dollars

Norwegian taxpayers may have to subsidize farmers at record highs, though not as much as they would like. The farmer-friendly government provided them on Thursday with an astonishing 10.15 billion kroner, more than 10 times last year.

The Norwegian government is trying to thwart such more peasant protests in front of parliament last year. The sign on the tractor parked in front of the Norwegian Parliament says, “Norway needs farmers.” Photo: NewsInEnglish.no/MortenMøst

Last week, Viil Søyland, who leads state negotiations with farmers’ lobbying organizations, said the government’s offer presented Thursday was “solid.” She believes governments, including the Peasant-Friendly Center Party, need to “help Norwegian food production and self-sufficiency in unpredictable markets and strong cost growth situations.” He said it reflects that.

Leader of the largest lobby group of farmers, Norsk BondelagResponded favorably to the changes and called this offer at least a “good starting point” for ongoing negotiations over the next two weeks. The group represented by Bjørn Gymming always believes that it needs far more state support than other working groups, but it is notorious for being difficult to please.

“We will read this offer carefully and see what it means for individual farmers,” Gimming said after receiving a record high offer of state support.

But others weren’t very positive. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports that some farmers believe the state has inflated its offer and are actually worth about 8.9 billion kroner (equivalent to about US $ 1 billion at current exchange rates). bottom. Søyland denies that the provision of NOK 10.15 is calculated “traditionally” in the light of the current agricultural support framework. This includes a combination of direct support, market regulation of meat and dairy products, and tariff protection to prevent the import of cheap foreign foods from Norway, especially during the summer growing season. At that time, products such as imported tomatoes and other agricultural products are subject to high tariffs, which are as expensive as the high-priced Norwegian agricultural products mandate. So, for example, Italian tomatoes generally disappear from the market until the end of the Norwegian tomato season.

Leader of small farm organization, Norsk Bonde-og Småbrukarlag, She also said that the state’s offer needs to be scrutinized more closely. But Kjersti Hoff said, “These are big numbers, not the ones we’ve seen so far. Take that into account. There are many factors here.”

These “factors” include farmers’ long complaints that the wage gap between themselves and other working groups has widened in recent years. Most people need work on their side in addition to farm income. This year, they are also facing record high prices for electricity and fuel, especially the diesel needed to power tractors, as everyone else does. Prices for fertilizers and animal feeds have also reached record levels.

Preparing for this year’s subsidy negotiations Farmers were also full of conflict and harsh discussions, except that they threatened the Center Party to fulfill the campaign’s promise of increased support. The center has plummeted into polls since the elections last fall, allowing the center to form a minority coalition with the Labor Party. At that time, the center won just over 13 percent of the votes. The latest survey shows that it is less than 7%.

Thus, the center is under great pressure to stick to its agricultural members. Local civil servants elected from the Center Party have also threatened to abandon the party if their leader, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, does not meet their demands. Vedham is also currently the Minister of Finance. That is, he is in charge of the government purse string.

But in the end, it depends on Congress agreeing with the government’s proposal for so much agricultural support. Food prices are already rising due to higher costs and shortages caused by the loss of agricultural products from the war-torn Ukraine. Many opposition politicians in Congress do not want Norwegian food prices to be even higher than they are today.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

https://www.newsinenglish.no/2022/05/05/state-offers-billions-to-farmers/ The state provides farmers with billions of dollars

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