The Ministry of Rural Affairs is to allocate an additional €10 million towards the 2023 state budget to ensure security of supply of food and maintain the competitiveness of agriculture for crisis situations and in normal times alike.
Speaking to the Riigikogu's finance committee about the necessity of funds planned for food security in the 2023 state budget, Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse (Reform) said: "Just as with the fields of culture, education or national defense, where we must be the biggest players in our country, this is also the case in food production, because the guarantors of any activity or ability are ultimately people who have to eat."
"Food is not a thing to be taken for granted in a crisis situation, and, as has been confirmed by the war in Ukraine, it forms a key part of the foundation of national defense," the minister went on, according to a press release.
Fortunately, in key staples Estonia is more than able to achieve subsistence, the minister went on.
"We are currently able to cover our needs nicely - for example, our dairy, grain and fish production exceed domestic consumption by a large margin. There is certainly room for improvement in food supply security and the functioning of supply chains, however, and the production and availability of food as a primary commodity must continue even in a crisis situation."
To this end, infrastructure ensuring production and supply of food will be reviewed from a crisis perspective, as is the case with power outages and other essential services and products.
The Ministry of Rural Affairs is also allocating €0.4 million from the 2023 state budget to encourage sustainability and the use of organic products in schools, while €1.7 million will be earmarked to increase the capacity of research and development activities, in so doing supporting the continuity of food production and the green transition.
The 2023 state budget is currently being processed at the Riigikogu with a view to passing its third and final vote by mid-December.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Ministry of Rural Affairs