Frost damage in orchards

A cold front came over Poland last week, with the temperature in several regions dropping to -7 Celsius.

The several nights of severe frost heavily damaged the early harvests of many Polish orchards. Specialists say that it is too early to assess the full extent of the damage.
Some farmers claim that they have almost entirely lost (near 90 percent) their apple, sweet cherry, pear, plums and strawberry crops.

Agriculture experts are more restrained in their estimations of how bad the situation is and what consequences they may have on the market.
Finance analysts state that the smaller fall harvest in Poland ? Central Europe?s largest food producer and fruit exporter ? will have a negative impact on prices and may boost inflation.

Experts assert that this year?s fruit crop will be of a much poorer quality, and farmers will seek governmental support due to the drastic drop in profit.
Polish Ministry of Agriculture Andrzej Lepper has already discussed the problem with his colleagues from other nations of the European Union. He has asked the EU to provide subsidies for Polish fruit growers, who according to his estimations need roughly 370 million euro to survive the season.

Lepper announced that the Polish government would soon launch a project to resolve this case. He wants to postpone credit repayment for 2 years and to provide special credit lines to renew fruit production. He also said that he is aware of the burden that such a program would have on the national budget.

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