June 28, 2008

German Chancellor Pledges Support for German Agriculture

Text of report by independent German news agency ddp on 28 June

Berlin: Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union) has pledged support for German agriculture in the review of EU agricultural policy. The federal government had always committed itself to ensuring that all types of German agriculture had a right to exist and a secure future, Mrs Merkel said in her weekly video message, which appeared on the internet on Saturday [28 June]. "That's what we shall be getting across in the so-called health check on agriculture at European level too," she added.

"Large and small-scale farmers, full-time and sideline operations need visions and opportunities for their future development," Mrs Merkel said, two days before the start of the German Farmers' Congress in Berlin on Monday. Even though the number of farmers has fallen over the past few decades, agriculture has not declined in importance. She considered it important "that we have a viable agriculture and hence a sound basis for our food".

Agriculture had also developed into a major factor in tourism and had in addition acquired an entirely new range of functions - promoting renewable energies in the form of biomass. "What we have here is another powerful potential and I believe that agriculture is going to get a totally new pillar of support," Mrs Merkel asserted.

Originally published by ddp news agency, Berlin, in German 0951 28 Jun 08.

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