Severe drought could cancel out gains in EU food production – EURACTIV.com

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Slightly below half of the EU’s territory is vulnerable to extreme and extended drought, in response to a brand new European Fee report, coming amid warnings this unprecedented heatwave might negate positive factors in meals manufacturing supposed to assist plug the hole left by the Ukraine conflict.

The July drought evaluation, launched by the European Fee’s Joint Analysis Centre on Monday (18 July), paints a grim image of dry and troublesome months forward.

It discovered that as a lot as 46% of EU territory is at the moment uncovered to warning drought ranges, whereas 11% stays on greater alert, a quantity it calls “staggering”.

The shortage of moisture within the soil causes appreciable vegetation stress, piling stress on the EU’s agricultural techniques and sparking issues about its impression on crop yields.

“Competitors for water sources is excessive and began sooner than traditional,” the report reads, including that water and warmth stresses have “lowered crop yield and crop potential”.

Specifically, the report singles out France, Romania and Hungary, in addition to a number of Mediterranean areas, together with Italy, Spain and Southern Greece, as being most affected.

And this threat is barely growing, in response to the report, which notes an upwards pattern of drought hazards.

“The extreme drought affecting a number of areas of Europe for the reason that starting of the yr continues increasing and worsening,” it states, including that, as such, water “is likely to be compromised within the coming months.”

Commenting on the publication of the report, Commissioner for Analysis and Innovation Mariya Gabriel famous that this stress is inflicting crop yields to fall from an “already damaging outlook for cereals and different crops”, including a warning that local weather change is “growing the chance of extreme droughts and forest fires world wide.”

Cancelling out efforts to safe meals manufacturing

The extreme heatwave has seen some warn that farmers’ efforts to up manufacturing in mild of the conflict in Ukraine may all be in useless.

Talking forward of the assembly of EU agriculture ministers on Monday, Spanish agriculture minister Luis Planas famous the nation was projected to achieve a manufacturing of 20 million tonnes of grain this yr, however that, as a result of present distinctive climatic circumstances, manufacturing has “dropped to between 17 and 18 million tonnes”.

Like many different EU international locations, Spain took benefit of a variety of derogations within the EU’s farming subsidy programme, the Widespread Agricultural Coverage (CAP), this yr to maximise the variety of crops grown in a bid to plug the hole left by the Ukraine conflict – however this has not been sufficient, the minister stated.

“All this regardless of the calls vis-à-vis the Fee for extra flexibility concerning the fallow and elevated agricultural land,” he famous, reiterating requires additional flexibility within the CAP in mild of the extreme climate situations.

For its half, the Hungarian delegation raised its issues over the intense drought scenario within the nation as an ‘Any Different Enterprise’ level throughout the ministers’ assembly which notes that, after a shortage of rain for a number of months, the moisture content material of the soil in some areas of the nation is near zero.

A “drastic relapse in crop yield” is subsequently anticipated in virtually all crop manufacturing sectors, which additionally threatens meals safety and forage provide, the delegation burdened,

The nation joined Spain’s requires extra flexibility beneath the foundations governing the EU subsidies programme this yr to permit member states extra room for manoeuvre on environmental necessities, in addition to assist for irrigation.

[Edited by Nathalie Weatherald]



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