State Secretary Ophelia Nick visits the Stautenhof in Anrath

Visit to the Stautenhof in Anrath
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Secretary of State Ophelia Nick calls for changes in agriculture

State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture, Ophelia Nick, visited the Stautenhof in Anrath with a suitcase full of agricultural themes.

Resource-saving, crisis-resistant, regional and healthy: with these four adjectives, Ophelia Nick wants to enter the agricultural future. The parliamentary state secretary of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture at the Stautenhof in Anrath explained how this should go. Nick was invited to the organic farm as part of the Greens Nature and Agriculture district working group in the Viersen district.

“The increase in food prices shows us how important it is that we have stable agriculture in our own country that supplies us with food. The self-sufficiency rate has to be correct,” Nick said. Energy plays an important role in this. In view of rising energy costs, the question arises how greenhouses are heated, for example. Nick talked about putting more emphasis on renewable energy. Among other things, he referred to geothermal energy, with a conversion program for farmers being offered in this area. “Agriculture relies heavily on diesel. How will the tractors of the future handle? Biogas, electricity or hydrogen, or will they be solar-powered robots?” Nick asked the room. She couldn’t give an answer either.

When it comes to fertilization, Nick relies on commercial fertilization. In his opinion, mineral fertilizers consume too much energy, are too expensive and make Germany dependent, since the necessary raw materials come from Russia or the Ukraine. Manure, manure, and manure, on the other hand, occur in a natural cycle and should be used accordingly, says Nick. The Secretary of State would like to reduce the use of chemical pesticides with good crop rotation and biological pesticides.

Nick also touched on the changing climates, which “you have to learn to deal with,” as she put it. Land use was an important issue. “In the last 30 years we have sealed off the Schleswig-Holstein area. We seal off more than 50 hectares of land every day. This is not possible. We live off the soil, and the soil is finite,” he warned. Agriculture is not just about food and renewable energy, but also biodiversity in nature.”Any form of management has its justification. Both organic and conventional agriculture need to be further developed, and organic agriculture is already well positioned to conserve resources,” says Nick.

Growing bigger, further and faster is not the goal of the future. Large farms already have their backs to the wall. Growing up to survive is outdated, she added. The veterinarian also cares about animal welfare. In his eyes, the restructuring of livestock will be a more than important point in the coming years. In animal husbandry, he also points to a conscious use of antibiotics. They are a great tool when used in moderation, Nick emphasized.

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