Agriculture

Climate & Environment
European Parliament about to decide over EU's Common Agricultural Policy
European Parliament about to decide over EU's Common Agricultural Policy
Credit: Tobias Nordhausen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The European Parliament and the council of member states are about to decide over the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the years 2021-2027. With the animal farming industry in Europe emitting more CO2 than all EU cars and vans combined, this will be an important decision for the environment, biodiversity and small farms.

Until now, the CAP has mostly benefitted large agribusinesses while failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the loss of biodiversity. Between 2005 and 2013, almost 3 million small to medium-sized had to close down. Existing ecologic measures implemented in the CAP have not proven to be effective.

In the current negotiations, a coalition of political groups in the European Parliament led by the right-wing EPP is trying to keep the CAP this way, while environmentalist groups are calling for a "greener" CAP that serves the environment, farmers and rural communities.

Climate & Environment
Pakistan's creative fight against continuing locust plague
Pakistan's creative fight against continuing locust plague
Credit: Binemarina (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The locust plagues that have been terrorising East Africa, India, and Pakistan in the past few months have still not disappeared. The unusual amounts of precipitation have caused the insects to reproduce 400 times faster than normal. Many fear the plagues to continue as the monsoons seasons are beginning in Pakistan and India.

Since the swarms have already destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural land, farmers in Punjab, the most important agricultural region of Pakistan, received ten euro cents for every kilogram of locust. The collected insects were then turned into chicken feed. Since this solution helps both to compensate farmers for their lost income and to eradicate the plague, the Pakistani government is now planning to expand the programme to the entire country.

Business • Economy
Germany permits 40,000 foreign workers to work inside Germany in April and May

After previously banning the entry of seasonal workers from outside Germany as part of the measures against the coronavirus, the German agriculture minister Julia Klöckner has announced that around 40,000 workers will now be allowed inside the country. In order to secure the harvest of fruits and vegetables, mainly strawberries and asparagus, and at the same time prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, foreign seasonal workers are required to travel by plane and employers are required to do mandatory health checks on arrival. For the first 14 days, the newly arrived workers are also required to work separately from other workers and are not allowed to leave the premises of the company.