Govt estimates drought cost at EUR 250 mln

The Polish government estimates that the losses caused by the drought by the end of July stood at PLN 1.1 billion (EUR 250 million).

Severe drought threatens Poland’s farmlands

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According to the Polish government drought costs are estimated at around a quarter million EUR, however, the estimates are not final, and the summer is not yet over.

“In line with the situation on 31 July 2019, the agricultural drought in Poland has occurred in all monitored crops. It affects the crops: spring cereals, winter cereals, fruit bushes, strawberries, legumes, corn for grain, corn for silage, fruit trees, root vegetables, tobacco, sugar beet, potatoes and hops,” the government stated in a press release.

“Losses in agricultural crops are estimated by 1,298 commissions established by provincial governors, which are active in 1,250 districts. According to data from the beginning of August, in 134,298 agricultural holdings - with an area of 1,805,500 hectares - crop losses caused by drought are estimated at PLN 1,087,955,000 (EUR 250.61 million). The commissions are still working,” it read.

At the government sitting, the Agriculture Minister presented data which prove that over two million hectares of fields in around two thirds of all the municipalities in Poland have been affected by drought this year.

The water level of the Vistula river which flows through Poland’s capital, Warsaw, reached this year’s record low on Monday, being at a low of 33 centimeters.

The Sulejów reservoir which is usually a popular tourist destination for inhabitants of central Poland is also at a record low. The shoreline has gone back by a few hundred meters, causing sailboats to sink in deep mud instead of water.

This year, the Agriculture Ministry has allocated funds for subsidies for farmers in order to install small water retention facilities on their farms, digging deeper wells, installing pumps, rain barrels and sprinklers.

So did the authorities of Warsaw which will co-finance installations gathering rainwater in the homes of Warsovians who are willing to participate in the project. These installations will gather water from the roofs of buildings and allow the use of the water to irrigate, for instance, garden plants.