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    French Gov’t Aid to Farmers Insufficient As 'Big Crisis' Looming - NGO

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    In recent weeks, French farmers have staged protests across the country against what they consider to be the government’s insufficient efforts to deal with falling prices and cheap imports.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anna Liatsou — The French Government’s financial rescue package for the country’s agricultural sector is not robust enough to deal with the severe crisis the industry may face in the long-term, the president of the organization Jeunes Agriculteurs (Young Farmers) told Sputnik Tuesday.

    On July 22, French Minister of Agriculture Stephane Le Foll announced a $654-million emergency aid package to help the agricultural sector. According to him, some 10 percent of livestock farmers are on the brink of bankruptcy.

    "The French government has proposed a 600-million-euro package to help the farmers. This is good news for farmers who are on the verge of bankruptcy but it is a short-term answer. We are going to face a big crisis, so we need long-term solution," Thomas Diemer warned. 

    "Indeed with the Russian embargo, French farmers have lost some outlets. But what affects all farmers are prices. The food industry and supply companies offer very low prices to farmers. Farmers cannot recover their costs of production because of the low prices. For instance, when a costumer spends 100 euro on food in a supermarket, only 7 euro comes back to the farmer who produced it," Diemer explained.

    To deal with the agriculture crisis, French farmers called on the government to support the agricultural industry by providing as many French products as possible to the public sector, he added.

    Last week, French Minister of Agriculture Stephane Le Foll pledged to allocate a $654-million emergency aid package to help the agricultural sector after weeks of protests.

    According to the BVA research agency, 88 percent of French nationals support of the farmers' protests, while more than 75 percent of respondents said they thought that the current administration is not up to the task to solve the agricultural sector’s problems.

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