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The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder replied to the interpellation concerning the measures of environment-friendly management (No 276), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Ester Tuiksoo, Villu Reiljan, Mai Treial, Karel Rüütli and Jaanus Marrandi on 23 March. Seeder noted that the measure had been developed on the basis of the current situation of the agriculture and the condition of the environment of Estonia, the results of the 2004–2006 follow-up assessment carried out by the Agricultural Research Centre and the studies carried out by scientists. “In the preparation of the measure, we have tried to reach a compromise between the requirements set for producers and the expected environmental profit and the requirements set by the European Commission,” assured the Minister of Agriculture. In 2007, producer organisations made a proposal to exclude from the measure the requirements concerning the so-called strips, glyphosates and growth regulators. That was also discussed with the European Commission who did not find the measure of environment-friendly management acceptable in such form and it was considered environmentally little profitable. The European Commission repeatedly stressed that the measure had to contribute to increasing of biological diversity. As a result, the Ministry of Agriculture was not in the position to take into account all proposals of agricultural producers. 

Several disputed requirements, for example, the requirement concerning fertilizers, glyphosates and plant growth regulators, were included in the additional requirements package. In the case of agri-environmental support in Estonia, the support rates are uniform for all producers regardless of the individual profit not received and additional costs of each producer arising from the observance of the support requirements. And these are prepared on the basis of the average statistical figures of Estonia. “That is why producers have to decide whether it is more profitable to intensify production and to receive income from agricultural production or to limit their production according to the requirements of environment supports and in turn to receive environment support calculated on the basis of average figures,” explained Seeder.
 
The Estonian Centre Party Faction as the initiator withdrew from the legislative proceeding the Bill on Amendments to the European Parliament Election Act (428 SE).
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
 
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