The frost wave is “probably the greatest agronomic disaster” of the century

Monday evening, the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, regretted a “dramatic climatic event” which will have consequences for producers and consumers alike.

The ordeal continues for the farmers. After several days of fighting against frost, the players in the sector find themselves facing “the biggest agronomic disaster of the beginning of the 21st century“, According to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Julien Denormandie.

Asked Monday evening about Public hearing for LCP, Public Senate and Le Figaro, a few hours after a crisis meeting on the file, the government representative regretted a “dramatic climate event“. The flowers and fruits had developed after “a strong heat effect […] and in one night, the temperatures dropped drastically, and it burned all the devices“. The economic losses will affect fruit, wine and field crop producers in many regions, he said.

It is still too early to quantify the losses precisely, but “several hundred thousand hectares have been impacted“, Noted the minister, pointing to financial losses”very significant“. In addition, a “second cold spellComes this week, further reinforcing the difficulties of the agricultural world.

This episode of freezing will be felt, at the end of the race, by the consumer, who will have “much less access»This year to certain fruits, including apricots and cherries, according to Julien Denormandie. Imports of foreign fruit and vegetables should therefore increase, and, ultimately, an effect on the prices of French products should also be observed: “it is very likely that there will be an impact on the market and in particular on the price of French products on the stalls by this summer», Noted the Minister.

General mobilization for the agricultural world

The executive therefore explains having “mobilized insurers […] but also the bankersIn the face of this disaster, in order to help professionals, for example by adapting the loans granted to wine growers. “This national solidarity […] must also come from those who accompany them“And financial players”have made a commitment to strongly support our farmers“Monday morning, welcomed the Minister.

An exceptional aid fund was announced a few days ago for “compensate for lost income“, And the aids will have to be thought”over the long term», For next year’s harvest. Among the measures set in motion will be facilitated partial unemployment or assistance linked to employers’ contributions.

There is also the question of insurance protecting crops: “climate risk is no longer insurable by insurers“, Underlined Julien Denormandie, pleading for a new model”based on national solidarity, and not just in the hands of farmers“. The change would make it possible to have a “sustainable system […] which is based on a contribution from the State“, In addition to insurance, because the farmer”does not have the means»To insure alone in the face of climate risks.

In the meantime, the mobilization of winegrowers and farmers continues, in the face of a second cold wave that is spreading over the country. In front of the representatives of the executive, Monday, the sectors “discussed the impacts identified to date but with points of suspension given that the frost continues and that this night again the producers were in their orchards, in their vines (…) to try to protect what can still be saved», Declared yesterday to AFP the president of the first agricultural union FNSEA, Christiane Lambert.

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