Finland to grant €300m emergency aid to support agriculture
The Ministerial Working Group formed earlier to guide the preparedness operations related to the impacts of Russia’s attack on Ukraine on Thursday decided to allocate 300 million euros to agriculture sector to support uninterrupted food supply amidst the conflict.
Chair of the Working Group Annika Saarikko, also Minister of Finance told media that the money would be given directly to food producers and farms to prevent any disruptions in food supply caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Saarikko said that the way in which the support is channeled is still open. The practical solutions will await a stand from the European Union, whether the scheduled April agricultural subsidies could be topped up, reported Xinhua.
"If not, national measures such as taxation changes would be considered," she said.
In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Finnish farmers have been concerned about the availability and rising prices of fertilizers, largely imported from Russia.
Saarikko said the underlying reasons for the emergency aid also include the poor harvest of 2021 and the rising energy prices.
According to national broadcaster Yle, the Ukraine crisis is expected to have various repercussions on Finland.
Ukraine and Russia together have produced almost a third of the world's grain. Saarikko was quoted as saying that the Finnish economy may sink into recession as a result.
The government on 10 March appointed a Ministerial Working Group with the view to guide the preparedness operations related to the impacts of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, said a government press release.
The tasks of the Ministerial Working Group are to form a comprehensive picture of the impacts of the crisis, to assess the impacts especially on the economy and security of supply and to agree on the launch of measures and allocation of resources.