Minister to Discuss Government Aid for Weather-Hit Farmers Skip to content
Vaðlaheiðagöng tunnel, snowstorm in June
Photo: Vaðlaheiðagöng tunnel, snowstorm in June, photo: Alina Maurer.

Minister to Discuss Government Aid for Weather-Hit Farmers

An unusual cold spell in North and Northeast Iceland has threatened farmlands and caused livestock to suffer. The government has established a working group and plans to provide support through an emergency fund to help farmers cope with the consequences of the weather.

Farmland at risk, livestock suffering

Following an unusual cold spell that has affected North and East Iceland – with yellow or orange warnings in effect and heavy snowfall – farmers in the area have struggled to cope.

In an interview with Vísir today, the Chairman of the Farmers’ Association, Trausti Hjálmarsson, stated that farmlands were at risk and livestock were suffering in the severe weather.

“Everyone is doing everything they can to minimise the damage  caused by this unprecedented weather. The conditions have become highly challenging, prolonged, and farmers are very tired,” Trausti stated, adding that it would be impossible to assess the impact of the weather until later this summer.

Support through the emergency fund

Speak to Vísir, the Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Bjarkey Olsen, stated that it was clear that the government needed to intervene and offer support through the emergency fund (Bjargráðasjóður).

“Both because of the cold damage that has occurred and is being assessed, it is obvious that intervention through the emergency fund is needed,” Bjarkey Olsen – who will address the farmers’ conditions at a government meeting this morning – observed.

Working group established

As noted by Vísir, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries; the Farmers’ Association; the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management; and the Agricultural Advisory Centre established a working group yesterday to assess the farmers’ damages and manage their situations.

“We’re aiming to support farmers who are going through a very difficult time right now, especially due to the harsh weather,” Bjarkey stated. “They’re fresh out of lambing season and other related tasks, and they are quite exhausted. I think it is appropriate for us to try to offer support. The working group is meeting right now as we speak.”

Trausti encouraged farmers to seek help if they needed it or if they knew of someone in need: “Dial 112, and the Civil Protection authorities will respond.”

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