Status: 25.09.2023, 18:00 p.m.
Moderator Josef Berchtold (right) on stage with (from left) Dominik Streit (SPD), Saika Gebauer-Merx (FDP), Harald Kühn (CSU), Susann Enders (Free Voters) and Benjamin Nolte (AfD). © Hans-Helmut Herold
Five candidates for the state parliament discussed their ideas on agricultural policy at the District Farmers' Day. Among other things, it was about the question of how to deal with the wolf.
Hohenfurch – At the District Farmers' Day in Hohenfurch, a round of interviews with the state parliament candidates was also on the agenda. Josef Berchtold, editor of the Bayerisches Landwirtschaftliche Wochenblatt, welcomed Susann Enders (Free Voters), Saika Gebauer-Merx (FDP), Harald Kühn (CSU), Benjamin Nolte (AfD) and Dominik Streit (SPD) on stage to interview them on topics such as domestic agriculture, the European Union (EU) or future forms of energy production.
When asked what they think about the work of the EU, everyone except the candidate of the AfD agreed on its necessity. "Who, if not the EU, can negotiate with the US and China on an equal footing?" said Streit. Nolte, on the other hand, emphasized that a large part of the bureaucracy and the requirements criticized by many come "from Brussels".
Enders: Agriculture must "defend itself against ideological decisions"
When it comes to agriculture, one must "defend oneself against ideological decisions," said Enders, who considered the possibility of combined farming to be particularly important for farmers. Bureaucratic hurdles for farmers should also be dismantled in the eyes of Gebauer-Merx. The operation of a small farm must become "profitable" again, according to Nolte. Especially in the south of the region, you can find "manageable farm sizes," said Kühn, and these belong again "in the hands of farmers," Streit noted. The district chairman of the farmers' association, Wolfgang Scholz, once showed him "how to milk a cow," Kühn explained when asked why he liked to drink milk so much. In order to bring this closer to other members of parliament, one should "place a cow" in the state parliament, joked the CSU deputy.
On the subject of energy, moderator Berchtold pointed out that many farmers would have to sacrifice agricultural land "with a crying eye" to make room for photovoltaic systems, for example. The majority of the candidates agreed that "not the good soils" should be used, according to Streit. You have to act "space-saving", said Kühn, because there are "fewer". Among other things, the candidates referred to the possibility of roofing highways with solar panels so as not to "pave over every agricultural area," Enders explained, for example.
Nolte: Wolf population must be "regulated"
Berchtold demanded a "clear commitment to combined husbandry" from the politicians – which he also received unanimously. The form of combined husbandry is "not to be questioned," Gebauer-Merx emphasized. Farmers should not be told how to keep their animals, Nolte said.
Finally, Berchtold confronted the candidates with the topic of wolves and described the carnivore as a "threat to pasture and alpine farming". The fact that the wolf is a problem in the domestic cultural landscape seemed to be clear to all candidates. However, not everyone felt that eradicating it completely was the final solution. However, it is important "that no one has to be afraid," said Streit. Gebauer-Merx noted that it is mainly the packs that pose "the main threat". According to Nolte, such a wild animal must be "regulated". If the "teachable" wolf notices "that live fire is being fired here," he will avoid the proximity of humans anyway, according to the AfD candidate.
It "cannot and will not work with the wolf in the Alps," said Kühn, who also suspected a threat to biodiversity if alpine farming were to be phased out. You have to "shake up the nature conservation associations," said Enders: wolves and bears are "not cuddly toys". At the end of the round, each of the candidates was presented with a pack of noodles in the colors of the farmers' association.
BY FLORIAN ZERHOCH