Polish and German agri ministers discuss swine fever battle

During the Berlin talks, Minister Ardanowski noted that Poland's priority is to equalise direct payments in this financial perspective. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

The Polish and German agriculture ministers, Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski and Julia Kloeckner, have met in Berlin to discuss bilateral cooperation in preventing the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Raising the issue of the fight against ASF, Minister Kloeckner expressed readiness to cooperate closely in combating the disease and to submit technical proposals for measures to prevent the spread of ASF, the Polish Agriculture Ministry wrote in a Tuesday press release.

Minister Ardanowski noted that Poland has been struggling with African Swine Fever for five years, devoting significant funds.

Ardanowski told his interlocutor that Poland had built some 250 kilometres of fences in western Poland, adding that new legal solutions regarding the reduction of the wild boar population will be introduced in Poland soon.

The ministers agreed that a discussion on the fight against ASF and financial support in this regard from Brussels should be held on the EU forum. Poland emphasized that better aid mechanisms should be developed for the pork sector, including for farms affected by ASF.

The two also referred to the issue of equal agricultural subsidies. According to Minister Ardanowski, the future common agricultural policy must ensure the profitability of farms and the vitality of rural areas while meeting the expectations of European society, especially in the field of environmental protection.

"An adequate budget will be needed to achieve these goals. Farmers should be given adequate financial incentives to implement socially-anticipated climate and environmental measures," Ardanowski was quoted in the press release as saying.

During the Berlin talks, Minister Ardanowski noted that Poland's priority is to equalise direct payments in this financial perspective. According to the minister, there is no substantive or political justification for maintaining very diverse direct payments in the EU. Currently, agricultural subsidy rates range from EUR 202 to EUR 550 per hectare.