French PM hopes to end agricultural crisis with new raft of measures

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced on Saturday a new package of 14 measures that he hopes will turn the page on the agricultural crisis, which caused blockades at the start of the year. Major unions welcomed the move but warned they would remain on their guard.

"We are working on concrete measures for our farmers," Gabriel Attal told reporters during a visit to the local seafood market in Pirou, in the northwestern region of La Manche.

"These additional measures which are added to the 67 measures that I announced on 26 January, demonstrate our determination to meet the needs of our farmers and to guarantee a prosperous future for our agriculture", he said.

Among these measures is the promised presentation of the final version of the Ecophyto 2030 pesticide reduction plan at the beginning of May, which had been put on hold due to the agricultural crisis.

There is also a new cash flow aid for farms, the acceleration of 100 water storage or irrigation projects starting this year and an aid plan for three departments hit by weather crises such as severe flooding (Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Hérault).

€50 million has been earmarked for projects to adapt to climate change and develop local sectors, the government said.

Cautious optimism

The measures come after unprecedented protests by farmers earlier this year and intense negotiations lasting several months.

"A crisis does not end by snapping your fingers," deputy secretary general of the FNSEA Christophe Chambon told Franceinfo on Saturday.

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