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Strong Sector Requires Further Improvements

22 January 2013, at 2:13pm

GERMANY – Despite a gross domestic product of 160 billion euros and employing 5 million people the German agri-food industry still has much to achieve, this was the message of the German Farmers Association (DBV) at Green Week, the International food production fair on Friday.

Science and technology hold the future answers to both improving efficiency,consumer value and animal said Joachim Rukwied, President of the DBV. Mr Rukweid did however state that the overall farming picture was strong.

New breeding lines, more comfortable animal housing, genetic advancements and improved feeding methods are thought to be the main areas of improvement to drive german farming in the future.

Problems that face the food production sector were listed as animal welfare; energy dependency and climate change and urbanisation swallowing farmland.

"Our livestock sector annually invests € 7 billion into improving animal welfare in new barns, which is nearly 60 per cent of all agricultural investment," said DBV President, Joachim Rukwied.

"We have a successful and modern animal husbandry in Germany, which manages to combine animal welfare, sustainability and competitiveness."

Energy issues were also addressed by Mr Rukweid as he informed Green Week that Bioenergy now provides 10 per cent of the national energy supply.

Alternative sources need to be priotirised by farmers said Mr Rukwied who added that the DVB also needs to sure up compensation and subsidy measures regarding energy network development.

Germany loses 90 hectares of farmland daily to urbanisation. Although dropping the DVB have said this figure is still too high. The building code amendment is imminent however and this will make green field development planning permission more difficult to obtain.

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