When ecology and economy are in conflict

MEP Maria Heubuch gave a lecture on the state and future of agriculture - Hot discussion on glyphosate.

Even the bare facts may surprise: The share of agricultural land in Germany is 52.4 percent - followed by the forest areas with about 30 and the settlement and traffic area with about 13.5 percent.

But in terms of gross value added in the total spectrum (GDP), farmers generate just 0.8 percent. However, Germany is still - after France - the second largest agricultural producer in Europe. Which wrestling takes place around this 0.8 percent, which press concerns, what demands and hopes are in the room: This is what Maria Heubuch, member of the Greens of the Greens, talked about on Friday evening before quite committed and sometimes quite heated discussing visitors in the stadium restaurant.

In doing so, the agricultural expert immediately put her finger in the wound: she used various examples to show how ecology and economy are often irreconcilably confronted with how difficult it is to harmonize this sad conflict, which in the main is being carried out on the general public.

From the tradition farmer woman as well as owner of a dairy farm allgäu, she was direct witness of the milk crisis in the years to 2014/15, which had cost in the end 4081 enterprises in the existence of Germany. The common European agricultural policy (CAP) had demanded this in the context of a structural change, had set profitability norms.

Among other things, this has a detrimental effect on diversity and also means that fewer and fewer farms produce more and more food. Quality of life is lost - and at all levels. Above all, biodiversity suffers from structural changes, such as with regard to insect and bird life.

The stimulus word "glyphosate" (a weed control), which appears in almost every public debate when it comes to healthy nutrition, also largely dominated the discussion that followed the lecture. It was precisely here that there was considerable dissension between the experiences and interests of the farmers present on the one hand and the ecological agenda of the ecological party on the other.

Again and again, the speaker pointed out that the problems that surround biodiversity, sustainability and responsible economic activity should be seen not only with regard to the Kraichgau, but "that we all sit in the same boat, after all", that all people have to look beyond the domestic demands that lie on their doorstep and have to think globally.

Ultimately, consumer behavior determines which direction the development is going for. If you want quality and variety, you also have to dig deeper into your wallet, stressed Maria Heubach.

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