November 4, 2022
Hard days for Finland's farmers due to increased prices for fertilisers, energy
Farmers in Finland are finding it hard to cope with the rising prices of fertilisers and skyrocketing energy bills, with only about one-third saying they had already purchased the fertilisers needed for the next growing season, a recent survey found.
The survey, conducted by the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), was published in early November.
Among the farmers surveyed, 55% predicted that their liquidity would become worse over the next six months. On fertilisers, 30% of the survey's respondents said they had been able to already buy fertilisers for the next growing season, while 16% said they purchased fewer and 20% said they acquired none at all.
Energy prices were also a significant worry for farmers, as one in three farmers surveyed said they expected electricity bills to double already this year. Reports even point to a tenfold increase in electricity costs.
These trends are already impacting production, with 15% of those surveyed confirming they had already decreased or completely stopped livestock production, while 21% said they consider taking such a measure later. On top of that, 20% said they would reduce their cultivation area by up to 25% next year.
Based on the survey's outcome, MTK chair Juha Marttila called upon the government to provide electricity and fertiliser subsidies.
Although agriculture and the food industry constitute less than 2% of Finland's GDP, farm numbers have declined even before the war in Ukraine, with a loss of about 1,000 farms between 2020 and 2021.