Mainz (dpa) - The German Farmers Association has demanded a fundamental revision of the plans of the Federal Government for stronger protection of insects.

According to initial estimates, this meant that agriculture could only be operated on "more than 2.3 million hectares" with "considerable restrictions", warned federation president Joachim Rukwied. There had been no consultation with the farmers on the plans.

Several hundred people, mainly farmers and dairy farmers, demonstrated on the sidelines of the Agriculture Ministers' Conference in Mainz. The police spoke of up to 650 participants. "Environmental protection only works with us against us" and "cooperation instead of prohibitions" could be read on billboards.

The Federal Cabinet has decided on a package with several regulations to enforce more environmental protection in agriculture. This includes a ban on the highly controversial weed glyphosate end of 2023. The use of weed and pest poisons should be severely limited. This provides for an "action program insect protection", which is not yet a law. This should follow in the coming months.

The Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Agriculture and Chairman of the Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Volker Wissing, supported the farmers. For example, rather than confronting them with definitive facts, businesses would have to be given greater support in using new technologies. The FDP politician called for the establishment of a national agriculture and climate council in order to reconcile agricultural and environmental goals in dialogue. "At present, farmers are faced with political facts before completed facts. Farmers no longer have any planning security. "

Wissing also criticized the "unilateral measures taken by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture" from the Fertilizer Ordinance to the Agrarian Package from the beginning of September to the Insect Repellent Action Program. "We have decent concepts, no media-effective snap shots, no agricultural policy with a lawnmower."

Rukwied said agriculture supports the protection of insects and the promotion of biodiversity. But: "We want to preserve the principle of cooperation between agriculture and nature conservation and not question it through prohibition policy."

The nature conservation organization BUND criticized that the insect action program is not sufficient to initiate the necessary trend reversal. "The program is in the form of the measures, the objectives and timing as the financial framework too unconcrete."

The BUND also called on the agriculture ministers to campaign for improvements in the "unambitious" decisions of the Federal Government for climate protection in agriculture. "The largest climate construction sites in agricultural policy are a significant reduction in livestock populations and the protection and rewetting of moorland sites," said the BUND expert Christian Rehmer.

Demands Farmers Association