The Slovenia Times

This year's drought will probably be declared natural disaster


Areas which have suffered damage to crops of at least 30% will be eligible for financial aid from the budget reserve, she announced, adding that damage estimates would expectedly known in October.

"The consequences of the drought can be remedied under the natural disaster recovery act, there is no need for an intervention bill like we had for the consequences of the frost," Strniša told the STA.

The state secretary said that in case farmers run out of fodder and find themselves in liquidity problems because they would need to buy fodder, the state will make it possible for them to get no-interest loans for operating assets.

South-eastern Slovenia has been hit the hardest with the drought, as it has recorded the biggest shortfall in precipitation. Only 40% of the usual amount of rainfall was recorded in June and July, and the drought has also continued in August.

In additional to vineyards and corn fields, meadows are also severely damaged, which means that there will be a shortage of fodder, Strniša said. It is hard to talk about percentages, she said, adding that regional commissions would estimate the damage as soon as possible.

"The damage for the entire Slovenia could be bigger than the one in 2003, which is known as the biggest drought in the last 20 years. An extreme drought and extreme damage was recorded then. This year could be even worse."

Strniša added that the drought had also hit the north-east of the country, the western region of Pimorsko and the sea coast. She noted that the frequency of droughts was alarming and that it pointed to the seriousness of climate change.

"Our first task is irrigation, where this is possible," she said, adding that the state provided programmes for co-funding of irrigation systems with rates of up to 70%. The first call for applications under these conditions will be published next spring.


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