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Tractors to take to Brussels streets on Wednesday, commuters warned
Pig farmers from Flanders are driving their tractors en masse to Brussels on 15 December to demand that the Flemish government intervene to help their sector, which is in crisis. The tractors will ride into Brussels from various regions and gather around the Flemish parliament building on Rue de Louvain at 9.30.
“The pig farming sector has been extremely hard hit for some time now due to the African swine fever virus and the corona situation,” said Paul Cerpentier of farming association ABS. “The government refuses to guide our sector through this situation. It could do so, but it clearly lacks the political will.”
Other problems in the sector include what farmers says is one of the lowest price floors in Europe and the ever-increasing price of feed. The protest follows months of concerns from the sector that led to agriculture minister Hilde Crevits earmarking €16 million for the sector in October.
The association is demanding that the Flemish government provide not just additional financial support but longer-term restructuring. “We demand that the government take further action,” said Cerpentier. “We want our liquidity problems to be addressed with sufficient support, more than the peanuts we receive now. And we want help with the restructuring of the sector to make it future-oriented and economically sustainable.”
Photo ©Kurt Desplenter/BELGA