Angry farmers protest by tractor in Paris

Angry farmers protest by tractor in Paris

They have every intention of being heard… And of being seen. Thousands of farmers converged on the capital, this Wednesday morning, to demonstrate against the “constraints” weighing on their sector, in particular the restrictions on the use of pesticides. Some of them – nearly 500, according to the FNSEA – went there in tractors.

The procession must leave at 8 a.m. Porte de Versailles, in the south of Paris, where in less than a month the International Agricultural Show. They will then go to the Esplanade des Invalides, in the center, not far from the Ministry of Agriculture. The dispersion is planned for the beginning of the afternoon, via a quay bordering the Seine.

As of Tuesday, the Paris police headquarters predicted traffic “very severely disrupted in a wide area, from the ring road to the seventh and fifteenth arrondissements of Paris”, with a gradual return to normal during the day. “It is strongly recommended that motorists drive around the area for the duration of the event”.

Neonicotinoids, production costs and energy prices

The trigger for the mobilization was the government’s decision on January 23 to give up authorizing neonicotinoid insecticides for the cultivation of sugar beetfollowing a decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union deeming any derogation illegal.

But grievances are on the rise: in recent months, farmers have gathered in small groups across the country, here to denounce the rise in their production costs due to soaring energy prices, there to demand store water to irrigate their crops.

The FNSEA section of the Parisian Grand Bassin, which brings together 12 cereal departments from the north of France and is at the initiative of the event, with the union of beet growers CGB, also affiliated to the FNSEA.

The last big mobilization of its kind dates back to November 27, 2019, when a thousand tractors had carried out snail operations on the ring road. The demonstrators already denounced a tightening of the rules concerning the spreading of synthetic pesticides with the creation of non-treatment zones (ZNT), strips of a few meters near homes where it is forbidden to use these substances.

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