The import of genetically modified cereals would be a

The import of genetically modified cereals would be a

Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas is of the opinion that the European Union could decide to temporarily lift the embargo on imports of genetically modified cereals from the United States and Latin America.

Europe could allow the import of genetically modified cereals

In this way, farmers who have problems with supply disruptions created by the war in Ukraine would receive a helping hand, says the Spanish minister for Bloomberg.

Spain and France have also proposed an exception for herbicide-based agricultural products to increase stocks and find alternative sources of supply, mainly for maize, which is a key ingredient in animal feed production. And the invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain producers, has shocked commodity markets as food prices are already at record highs.

In his opinion, “This is a wake-up call for us to think about how we will be able to ensure food security for our 450 million citizens. We need the EU to add flexibility to the rules on grain imports, “Luis Planas said in an interview with the source.

Significant change in farm-to-plate strategy

From an agricultural point of view, if adopted, these measures would represent an important change in the “From farm to plate” strategy, which includes objectives such as increasing organic production and reducing the use of pesticides. This strategy has raised concerns that it could reduce agricultural production in one of the world’s largest producers of agri-food products.

In addition, Luis Planas stressed that any imports of genetically modified cereals will need the approval of the EU authorities, and in turn Member States may decide whether or not to authorize them.

Also in the agricultural field, the Spanish official also said that the EU should add targets on the production of vegetable proteins and fertilizers, within its long-term strategy. Planas also said that Spain is proposing to increase grain production by limiting crop rotation and the use of rakes.

Imports are crucial

Even with the help of these measures, imports are crucial, as it will take several more years for Europe to become self-sufficient in its supply of vegetable protein, Planas said. And the United States and Argentina are not the only markets that could meet Europe’s current needs, Planas said, adding that the situation is positive.

Ukraine is currently the main supplier of corn and sunflower oil to Spain, supplying almost 30% and 62% of the two products, respectively, according to official data. In this regard, Planas revealed that Spain has already imported about 1.9 million tonnes of corn to supply its meat industry for at least 45 days and can cover the decline in sunflower imports through local olive oil production. But imports from other destinations and the replacement of sunflower oil with local olive oil could raise food prices in a country facing the highest inflation in 33 years.