Paris: France's fruit and vegetable crops have fallen by nearly 35 per cent due to the extreme drought this summer, Jacques Rouchausse, president of the French national association of vegetable producers, Legumes de France, said on Tuesday.
"We have losses on the yields. For the moment, we estimate that these losses are between 25 per cent and 35 per cent. We have to stress that if we want food sovereignty, if we want food security, we really have to find ways to continue producing on our territory," Rouchausse said on air of Radio Franceinfo. According to Rouchausse, the main prerequisite for food security in France is to review the current restrictions on the use of water.
"When we talk about food security, the water restrictions that are taken should be better adapted today. We must be realistic and pragmatic. Obviously, we must not fill up our swimming pools. However, it is imperative to use water to continue producing for our food sovereignty," the President said.
Rouchausse also noted that today every second vegetable in France is imported, while domestic farmers need government support to survive difficult times, such as the unprecedented drought.
On July 27, French Minister of Agriculture and Food Marc Fesneau said that restrictions on the use of water have been introduced in almost all regions of France amid a record drought in July.
France, like many other European countries, has been experiencing abnormally hot weather this summer.
In late July in Paris, the maximum temperature reached 41 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). In the southwestern Gironde department, two large wildfires broke out due to the heat, destroying more than 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of forests.