Yesterday, farmers and government representatives opened a vegetable bed at the building of the Cabinet of Ministers, which symbolises the solidarity between townspeople and farmers. The activity has been named “Country Enters the City”. Instead of the traditional greenery with flowers at the Cabinet of Ministers, which is the central location in both a symbolic and literary sense, this year the bed will be filled with decorative vegetables.
Decorative cabbages, beetroots, lettuce, beans, and spices, together more than 1000 seedlings of various vegetables, will be flourishing along with the common rural flowers, such as marigolds, French marigolds, and nasturtiums. The creation of the bed is the idea of the Latvian Agricultural Cooperatives Association (LLKA), Farmers Parliament, and Agricultural Organisations Cooperation Council (LOSP) supported by the State Chancellery, Cabinet of Ministers, and Ministry of Agriculture. At the opening ceremony, the Cabinet of Ministers was represented by Ilze Viņkele, acting Prime Minister and Minister of Welfare, Laimdota Straujuma, Minister of Agriculture, Daniels Pavļuts, Minister of Economics, and Gaidis Bērziņš, Minister of Justice.
Latvia and the other Baltic States are not satisfied with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform after 2013, proposed by the European Commission in October last year (KLP). Regardless of the fact that the government and the responsible officials have defined the farmers’ interests as a European priority issue, the farmers have decided to get involved in the protection of their interests by launching an EU direct payment lobbying and public relations campaign. Considering that Latvia is a small State with a restricted representation at the European level, one of the aims of the campaign is to involve a maximum variety of people by bringing together the townsmen and farmers. The vegetables bed at the Cabinet of Ministers is one of the activities of this campaign.
Vegetable seedlings for the beds are provided by the cooperative “Mūsmāju dārzeņi”. The soil is prepared by the Earthworm Growers' Association and Baiba Rudzāte, a landscaping gardener.
Information prepared by and addition information available from:
Coordinator of the EU Direct Payments Campaign