Latvian farmers ask government for help after feed losses

19-09-2012 | |
Latvian farmers ask government for help after feed losses

Due to the high prices for grain, the Latvian Association of Pig Producers has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Farming to compensate the industry for its losses. Otherwise, according to the members of the association, Latvian pork production will halt until the end of the year.

“Currently pork production in the country is unprofitable. The average farmer is currently losing LAT120 (US$226) on each sow he raises. The grain harvest this year is good, but the price of feed is still rising. A tonne of grain without VAT on the internal market currently costs LAT150 (US$282). The price for corn and soybeans is steadily growing. If the ministry can not compensate these losses, it would mean the complete destruction of the industry. In this case only the Danish producers will continue to raise pigs in Latvia,” said representatives of the association. Poultry farmers face the same problem.

“The feed for poultry, which is mostly corn, is currently about 45% of a poultry farm’s total expenditure. Hence, as a result of the rise in grain prices we also will see an increase in prices for chicken,” said Andris Viltsmeyers, a board member of Kekava Company, one of the largest poultry producers in Latvia.

State Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture Dace Lutsaua stated that the issue of compensation could only be considered at the end of the year, and the decision would depend on the budget.

Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent