Norway’s two major farmers’ organizations have accepted a so-called “crisis package” for those hit hard by the summer drought that dried up fields and depleted cattle feed supplies. The government agreed to fork over NOK 525 million (USD 63 million) in addition to the more than NOK 1 billion in compensation that already could be claimed.
Outgoing Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale, who’s due to become transport minister on Friday, said he was glad the government won agreement from both Norges Bondelag and Norsk Bonde- og Småbrukarlag for a solution directed at those most affected by the drought.
The state is already expecting applications for compensation of direct crop losses and extra expenses of acquiring feed from elsewhere in Norway and abroad. The farmers’ lobby also noted that it was important to secure swift payments to cover farmers’ losses and secure Norwegian food production in the years to come.
Opposition politicians in Parliament claimed they were also pleased that a crisis package had been offered. They’d been harshly critical of the government’s response to the drought and threatened a lack-of-confidence vote if no aid was provided in addition to that already offered and set aside. The solution also means, however, they now have one less opportunity to topple the government when Parliament reconvenes this autumn.