Overall good year for Latvian farmers, says association

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The year has been good and successful for agriculture as a whole, said Guntis Gūtmanis, Chairman of the Latvian Agricultural Organization Cooperation Council  (LOSP), said on Latvian Television morning broadcastAugust 22.

He said: “Speaking to farmers, the situation is assessed as optimistic. [..] In general, farmers will have succeeded this year and we will have food.”

Gūtmanis also noted that harvests this year would be smaller than initially planned because it was a late and cool spring; the weather lately, though, has been beneficial for grain. Potato yields would not be as good as expected due to the drought, he added.

Regarding future plans, Gūtmanis said agricultural policy should aim at ensuring that “none of the sectors will fall out of circulation”.

“We can feed ourselves as a country. But its development and day-to-day performance must aim to prevent any sector from falling out of this chain so that everyone can eat a full range [of food items]. There are a few product groups that we buy in, but we can generally feed ourselves,” said Gūmanis.

The Chairman of the Board of Governors of LOSP also acknowledged that shopkeepers have concerns about the purchasing power of the population, so a solution is being sought: “We are therefore talking about reduced VAT. Trying to show that it would be an affecting factor to keep the price from climbing so fast, politicians say it would be a short-term solution and stores would just earn more [..] We have not reached such an agreement with politicians at this time.”

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