Farmers to get help with liberalisation

Farmers are to get financial help to face the challenges posed by the future liberalisation of the agricultural sector.

This content was published on September 10, 2008 - 17:05

The cabinet said on Wednesday that it would release SFr400 million ($354 million) annually to finance "accompanying measures" if Switzerland and the European Union reach a free trade agreement on agricultural products.

The measures will also be needed if the World Trade Organisation achieves a similar agreement.

In either case, farmers stand to lose billions of francs and Swiss agriculture will face profound structural change.

Existing agreements with the EU have already reduced the protection previously enjoyed by farmers.

From 2009 to 2016 the SFr400 million should come from customs receipts on imported food.

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard told a media conference that the money was not designed to increase subsidies. The aim was to help all those involved make a smooth transition to the new market situation.

A change in the law on agriculture will be needed to set aside the money. The government has started the consultation process with relevant players.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.