Walloon farmers look gray - Trends-Tendances sur PC

Walloon farmers look gray – Trends-Tendances sur PC

Already weakened by covid, the Walloon agricultural sector is now seeing itself, according to the CBC bank, shaken up by the Ukrainian crisis and rising prices.

For eight farmers out of 10, the current price rise, accentuated by the Ukrainian crisis, has an impact on their activity. And for no less than 40% of them, this new crisis squarely calls into question the viability of their farm. This is at least what emerges from a recent survey carried out by the CBC bank among 300 farmers in Wallonia, entitled The agricultural world and its challenges, the results of which were presented on the eve…

For eight farmers out of 10, the current price rise, accentuated by the Ukrainian crisis, has an impact on their activity. And for no less than 40% of them, this new crisis squarely calls into question the viability of their farm. This is at least what emerges from a recent survey carried out by the CBC bank among 300 farmers in Wallonia, entitled The agricultural world and its challenges, the results of which were presented on the eve of the Libramont Agricultural Fair. According to Bernard Keppenne, the agricultural world is clearly torn between optimism and disillusionment. “On the one hand, comments the chief economist of CBC, farmers feel ready to face the climate challenge, but on the other hand, they have suffered the brunt of two successive crises which are causing some disillusion, particularly in the face of changes in behavior of consumers who have not registered for the long term. Moreover, the agricultural sector is clearly one of the sectors most affected by the rise in prices. In this context, Walloon farmers will have to reinvent themselves to get by in order to not to suffer the critical situation in which the sector already finds itself. When it comes to reinventing themselves, only 8% of Walloon farmers have changed their production model following covid. Normal, changing models is not easy for a farmer. “You don’t go from breeder to grain farmer overnight,” explains Bernard Keppenne. On the other hand, he adds, “the study shows that for those who invested during the covid crisis, these investments proved to be profitable.” Despite the difficulties, optimism therefore remains. Moreover, for 43% of respondents who use digital tools (for banking operations, connected rain gauges, etc.), new technologies should have a positive impact on their operations in terms of sustainability (reduction of energy dependence, etc.). And more than eight out of 10 Walloon farmers who responded to the survey believe that their farm is capable of adapting to current and future energy, climate and environmental challenges. So there is real concern about these issues. “Which is rather positive”, concludes Bernard Keppenne.

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