Former minister queries government action on agricultural drought aid

Former Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Agricultural Committee Urmas Kruuse (Reform) has put a question to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas concerning governmental assistance to farmers for dealing with the effects of the long period of drought this summer.

Reiterating comments he had made a little over two weeks ago, Mr. Kruuse said that farmers were dismayed that whilst information had been made public suggesting that the state was to grant €20 million to compensate the sector for drought losses, in actuality, high-interest loans were being offered instead.

Instead of loans, farmers require state assurance for equal conditions with farmers in other EU member states, where an emergency has been declared, Mr. Kruuse added.

"This government has not taken steps to declare a state of emergency in agriculture, despite the serious situation facing farmers dealing with this summer's drought, a force majeure situation,'' he went on.

False impression that aid would be forthcoming

"Farmers are concerned that the government is trying to create the impression that farmers are to receive aid, whereas the actual assistance from the state comes in the form of the refinancing of loans withnew loans, a step which will not help farmers effectively,'' Mr. Kruuse continued.

''It is essential for farmers that the government react seriously to this year's drought, the like of which this region has not seen in about 60 years, and consider providing extraordinary assistance,'' he argued.

Mr. Kruuse also said that there exists great confusion over the date of the payout of the subsidies paid by the Agricultural Registers and Information Centre (PRIA) after the prime minister said at a 2 August press conference that the government also supports early payment of direct aid and is to seek relevant approvals from the European Commission.

Questions that need answering

The estimated losses caused by the drought stand at around 70% of total harvests, and so farmers have stressed the need to restore liquidity, and, according to Mr. Kruuse, need answers to the following questions:

1.Why doesn't the government take the opportunity to provide a form of extraordinary assistance to farmers in a form other than that of a loan?

2. Confirmation that single-area support and support for dairy cattle breeding is to be paid out earlier than planned, ie. 1 October 2018.

Mr. Kruuse also stated that the Parliamentary Rural Affairs Committee has been meeting under an emergency schedule since July to find solutions for preventing anycrisis arising from drought damage.

The summer of 2018 started with the hottest May in over half a century, with little rainfall through to August, and saw fire danger warnings from late May, rising to a period of 'extreme' fire hazard warning in late July. Several larger fires included those at Vikipalu in Harju County, Tori in Pärnu County, and the resort town of Narva-Jõesuu, as well as dozens of smaller fires. The period of fire hazard was declared over on 14 August after a period of rainfall.
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Even though education is a matter close to the heart of Estonia 200 leader Kristina Kallas, she cannot imagine herself fighting for the post of education minister: ideas can also be realized by someone else. You just took away Postimees’ editor-in-chief. In your opinion, how is the editorial to feel? Lauri [Hussar] had to give the matter thought, and I presume he did. We talked about why he wants to go into politics. Still, to what extent do you imagine wh...
TALLINN – Russia is seeking integration in Estonia only in words, Kalev Stoicescu, researcher at the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) who is running on the ticket of the Estonia 200 party in the March 3 general elections, said on Wednesday commenting on the words said on the subject by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  "Russia is the only neighboring state which does not wish -- due to its own interests -- progress in integration...
Former top centrist Evelyn Sepp admitted that she donated money the origin of which was unknown to her to the Center Party in 2006. The former politician claimed other members also engaged in the practice but refused to name names. Sepp’s confession on ETV investigative journalism program «Pealtnägija» does not come as a total bombshell. She first said that such covert funding of parties is a widespread practice in the aftermath of the Silvergate scandal i...
"In addition to our ongoing programme of passenger vessel renovations, we are also continuing to upgrade and modernise our cargo vessels to ensure that we continue to develop this important part of our business," he noted, adding that the relocation of the company's Estonia-Finland cargo route to Muuga on the Estonian side in October 2017 and the launch of the Smart Port solution in Tallinn's Old City Harbour in spring 2018 both contributed to improved ser...
During the final week of 2018, a total of 2,524 patients with viral upper respiratory infections sought medical attention, 47.5% of whom were children. A total of 210 cases of influenza were laboratory confirmed, nearly twice as many as during the week before, according to Health Board data. Over the past two weeks, the number of flu cases has quadrupled. The majority of these cases were laboratory confirmed at emergency medical departments, from which pat...
I actually think that B1 is too low of a bar for attaining citizenship. You still can't participate in Estonian society on anything other than a superficial level as noted above, so I'm not sure how you can constitute a "citizen" on that basis. Naturally there has to be a high degree of arbitrariness, and that's precisely the point — whilst B1 level might be sufficient in German or French (I understand that it is the benchmark level when applying for citiz...
Following a white Christmas throughout most of Estonia, Wednesday will see sleet and even rain in parts of the country, and temperatures hovering around the freezing point will means slippery road conditions. Early Wednesday morning, many major highways were salted or wet, but some patches were still icy, the Estonian Road Administration said. Eastern parts of the country will see scattered rain or sleet. Temperatures throughout the day will remain around...
Last weekend, Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day and Boxing Day still ahead means that most chemist's shops are closed for five days in a row. Tallinners can still get hold of prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs in the 5 Tõnismägi St and 19 Vikerlase St shops. As doctors' practices are closed for the holidays as well, people will have to turn to the emergency room of a nearby hospital in case of any more serious health problems. In Tallinn,...
Irene Ilves, the mother of former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, died on Tuesday aged 91. Irene Ilves was born on 6 January 1927. An Estonian refugee, she raised her family in New Jersey, on the US East Coast. She is survived by two sons, Andres Eerik and Toomas Hendrik, and four grandchildren, Juulia Kristiine, Luukas Kristjan, Kadri Keiu and Hans Hendrik, Mr Ilves wrote on social media on Wednesday, adding that she will be very missed by family and frie...