Arable farmers ask Dutch government's help in drought

The Dutch union for arable farmers NAV asked Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture to let potato farmers irrigate their crops with surface water, also in areas where a ban is currently in place. The NAV warns that many farmers are in danger due to the persistent drought, ANP reports.

Smaller harvests are only marginally compensated for by higher prices, because many arable farmers are locked into contracts, the union said. There are insurance policies against crop damage due to extreme weather, but according to the NAV, these are too expensive for many farmers.

The union again called on the government to abolish insurance tax on such policies. As the government is currently unwilling to do so, the government is also partly responsible for the fact that few farmers have such policies, the NAV said. "That is why it is only logical that the same government takes responsibility and help think about solutions."

Farmers who get into trouble due to the drought should receive certain allowances earlier this year, the NAV suggested. Preferably before November, when rent has to be paid. Farmers should also be able to get a bridging loan, the union said. 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality is aware of the NAV's letter and is studying it, a spokesperson said to the news wire. "It will be mid-August before we can say something about it", he said. 


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