Flanders increasingly dependent on foreign agriculture
Flanders is producing less and less maize and wheat itself and is becoming increasingly dependent on foreign imports. That is what figures requested by Flemish Member of Parliament Stefaan Sintobin (Vlaams Belang) from the Flemish Minister of Agriculture show.
Flanders still produced 719,748 tonnes of grain maize back in 2014. In six years' time, that quantity has fallen by 37% to 453,229 tonnes in 2020. The production of wheat also decreased from 585,788 to 538,647 tonnes in the same period.
As a result, imports of both cereals increased sharply. Corn imports went from 1,752,269 tonnes in 2017 to 1,825,207 in 2021, while durum wheat imports almost tripled from 288,937 in 2017 to 741,009 in 2021.
Sintobin believes this is a dangerous evolution. "The war in Ukraine has shown how important independence is in the context of food security. If we want to keep the price of a loaf of bread within limits, we have to take care of our own grain," he says.
© BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND