Between 100 and 200 tractors, mostly from Wallonia, converged on Brussels and the Schuman roundabout on Thursday as part of a day-long demonstration by the agricultural sector.
Farmers were demonstrating alongside a European summit held to discuss the 2021-2027 budget. The sector were unhappy with a draft proposal which showed cuts to the budget allocation for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The majority of the tractors arrived – horns blaring – at the small rue de la Loi and rue de la Joyeuse entrance at around 1:30 PM. They had to leave the capital around 3:00 PM in order to avoid too much traffic.
“The future of family farming is at stake,” said Marianne Streel, president of the Walloon Federation of Agriculture (FWA). “There is a major problem with the transfer of farms. The young people are there, but the income doesn’t keep up, while over time it costs us more and more to produce,” she explained.
The FWA reminds that CAP aid constitutes “the essential if not the totality of the disposable income” for many Walloon farms. “With a falling CAP budget, there is a greater risk of seeing the agricultural economy collapse even further, with serious consequences for both upstream and downstream sectors,” the FWA warns.
“All sectors are suffering, beef and sugar in particular. But the situation is no rosier for fruit or milk,” Streel added.
The Brussels Times