Traffic light coalition agrees on relief for farmers


Lerato Khumalo

The farmers’ protests were the trigger, and now a compromise has apparently been found: the traffic light coalition in the Bundestag has agreed on an agricultural package that is intended to relieve the burden on farmers.

After a long discussion, the traffic light factions have agreed on a legislative package that is intended to strengthen agriculture in Germany. The chairmen of the factions – Rolf Mützenich (SPD), Britta Haßelmann (Greens) and Christian Dürr (FDP) – announced this jointly on Tuesday afternoon.

“For many years, under the leadership of the CDU/CSU, there have been no reforms in Germany to sustainably strengthen agriculture – we are now correcting these shortcomings,” the joint statement says. Part of the package is “tax profit smoothing” for income from agriculture and forestry, which would be equivalent to a tariff reduction.

“In this way, we are mitigating the fluctuations in profits due to changing weather conditions, such as periods of drought,” said the parliamentary group leaders. Without reducing the basic premium, grazing livestock farming on grassland will also be promoted in the common agricultural policy. “We are also introducing the amendment to the Agricultural Organisations and Supply Chains Act to the Bundestag and strengthening the position of farmers in the value chain.”

At the same time, there are to be extensive measures to reduce bureaucracy in agriculture. To this end, the traffic light coalition has evaluated “almost 200 proposals” from the federal states – the whole thing must then be implemented jointly by the federal and state governments.

The coalition had already announced the package of measures at the beginning of the year. The background to this is the protests with which farmers had reacted to cuts in tax relief in the agricultural sector. The federal government had withdrawn some of the cuts. The abolition of the discounts on agricultural diesel was also extended to three years.

As compensation, the traffic light coalition planned to present a relief package by the summer. The aim at the time was to strengthen the future security of agriculture.