The European Commission wants to produce more food in order to respond to the disruption caused by the war in Ukraine.
In proposals presented on Wednesday by Brussels, the institution stressed that supplies are not threatened in the EU, but short and medium-term responses are needed to avoid any shortages.
According to Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, areas of production should be expanded.
“We open the possibility to use the use the agriculture land that was excluded from the production because of greening obligation which we have in the Common Agriculture Policy,” Wojciechowski said. “This is about the four million hectares, the area of the ecological focus area, the fallow lands that are set aside. This land can be used for the agriculture production, for the food and feed production.”
The Commission is also proposing funds totalling €500 million to help producers. It also suggests granting advances to direct payments and offering more flexibility on imports of products intended for animal feed.
But the EU also wants to help Ukraine and at the same time accuses Russia of deliberately trying to cause famine.
“I would point out that Russia appears to be deliberately targeting and destroying Ukraine’s food stocks and food storages,” Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission vice-president said on Wednesday.
As well, the Commission is proposing a €330 million emergency aid programme for Ukrainians to ensure access to basic goods and services.