The Baltic states may slide into a food crisis by midsummer, as Latvia is on the verge of declaring an emergency in agriculture due to drought, the country’s agriculture minister, Didzis Smits, said in an interview with Latvian Radio this week.
Scarce precipitation in May and June has led to soil drying out in the fields and inflicting damage on crops. It has rained 85% less than the usual monthly rate in May, according to the ministry.
“Unfortunately, we are not far from an emergency in agriculture … It is clear that emergency assistance will be needed at the level of the government and Europe,” Smits noted.
Latvian farmers will seek aid from the European Union, as well as compensation from the local government, he added, as the country is considering announcing an emergency in the agricultural sector around midsummer.
Grain harvest in Latvia is expected to slump by 30-50% this year, as the drought has affected crops shortly after late spring frosts caused problems for berry growers and other farmers, the agriculture ministry said.
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