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The DVT basically assesses the discussion paper on the arable farming strategy 2035 as a suitable instrument for the further development of German agriculture towards more sustainability and biodiversity. DVT welcomes and fully supports the formulated objectives. Nevertheless, in its multi-page opinion it also emphasises that the strategy must be in consensus with a globalised economy and integrated agricultural markets. This must include not only the effects on agriculture as a directly affected sector, but also those for all upstream and downstream sectors of industry and the economy.

The arable farming strategy 2035 presented in December 2019 by Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner in the form of a discussion paper was now available to DVT for comment and assessment.

In its comprehensive assessment, the DVT has placed particular emphasis on the practical feasibility of the planned measures both from the point of view of the market economy and from that of animal nutrition, as the latter has been lacking to date.

In this connection, the DVT expressly emphasised the great importance of the sufficient availability of high-quality agricultural raw materials for feed production, which in turn are necessary for the provision of foof from animal origin. It is therefore important to maintain yield performance and quality standards in arable farming. In this context, the orientation towards the global agricultural commodities market and the maintenance of the competitiveness of German commodity producers and trading companies must not be overlooked. "Our demand is to clearly address existing conflicts of objectives between arable measures in the strategy and to quickly find pragmatic solutions", Dr. Hermann-Josef Baaken, spokesman of the DVT management board, made clear.

With regard to plant-breeding aspects, the DVT points out that arable measures can only have a very limited influence - if at all - on the amino acid content of cereals, for example. On the other hand, the possibilities of modern plant breeding have to be rated particularly highly in this respect. The association therefore welcomes further research work in this area, also involving experts in animal nutrition.

In the same context, the DVT also draws attention to the urgency of adjustments to genetic engineering legislation. The new breeding methods have great potential to mitigate the consequences of climate change and increase sustainability and biodiversity in agriculture. It should therefore be the notified goal of all parties involved to adapt the legal situation to scientific findings as quickly as possible.

Baaken sums up: "In particular, given the variety of proposals now on the table, the arable farming strategy must also be brought into line with the various other strategies for plant and animal production and the environment, but also with European concepts".
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