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Belgium - After 10 June it will be known if frost damage was an agricultural disaster

The Belgian fruit cultivation sector is currently waiting with bated breath whether the night frost of 19 to 20 April will be recognised as an agricultural disaster. This will become known after 10 June. “We then get a view of the total amount of damage. At the moment, every municipality is busy questioning the growers and estimating their damage. To ‘obtain’ that recognition of an agricultural disaster, the amount of damage must be at least 1.24 million euro,” explains Leen Jolling from Boerenbond. “Per damage-dossier, this is 5,580 euro. Only if we meet all the conditions, will we get recognition.”

Twenty years
Up till now, the first step for recognition of an agricultural disaster was made by recognising the exceptional weather circumstances by the KMI. The analysis done by the KMI indicates that in 225 out of 308 municipalities the cold was exceptionally severe, and hadn’t been seen in 20 years.

The first figures of late-April of the Boerenbond indicate member fruit growers estimate 78 per cent of apples, 82 per cent of cherries and 63 per cent of pears were affected. “Not much more is known at the moment, we haven’t conducted any questionaires since then. We currently don’t have a view of it yet. If the amount of damage is less than 1.24 million, there won’t be recognition and growers will not be compensated. We now have to await what will happen in coming weeks. Growers naturally hope for good news. I think we will reach that amount. Damages have been recorded for many different kinds of cultivation companies, both in fruit cultivation and in ornamental plant cultivation.”

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