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EU plans to ease crop rotation rules as global food risks mount

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: A French farmer harvests wheat in Honnecourt-sur-Escaut

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission on Friday proposed a temporary suspension of EU crop rotation rules to increase cereal production and help head off a global food security crisis due to the impact of the war in Ukraine.

The European Union executive said in a statement that its plan, which followed a request from the bloc's member states, said the short-term derogation would put 1.5 million hectares of land back into production compared to today.

"The global food system faces strong risks and uncertainties stemming in particular from the war in Ukraine where in the near future also issues of food security may arise," it said. "Every tonne of cereals produced in the EU will help to increase food security worldwide."

If formally adopted by EU member states, the measure will apply only in 2023 for land that would be set aside under Common Agriculture Policy rules and would exclude the planting of crops typically used for feeding animals such as maize and soy.

The Commission proposal said that, with the proposal, it had sought a careful balance between global food availability and affordability on the one hand, and protection of biodiversity and soil quality on the other.

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout and John Chalmers; editing by David Evans)

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