Austria to provide 60 mln euros to drought-afflicted farmers
Austrian farmers hit by drought over the summer months are to receive government aid totaling 60 million euros (70 million US dollars), Xinhua reported citing the Austria Press Agency reported.
The federal and state governments will each provide half of the total funding, which will take the form of direct aid to farmers, reforestation programs, and greater support for farmers in protecting against the elements.
In addition, the assistance will include an increase in subsidies on insurance premiums, as well as the possibility for credit to be extended by a year.
The lasting drought had in August been estimated by insurance authority Hagelversicherung to have caused a total damage of about 210 million euros (244 million US dollars). As the picture on the total becomes clearer, however, it is anticipated it will be significantly higher than that.
Livestock farmers were particularly hard-hit, with up to 40 percent of grasslands in some regions affected by the drought, forcing them to buy food for their animals elsewhere.
Crop failures were also a problem, estimated to have affected 10 to 15 percent of crop totals.