In the Drôme, farmers are surfing on the shortage of sunflowers and converting the land



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As a direct consequence of the war in Ukraine, which until now provided 60% of world production, Europe lacks sunflower and prices are soaring. In the Drôme, grain growers are embarking on this crop with the hope of significant gains. #TheyHaveTheSolution

Desperately empty shelves. Throughout Europe, sunflower oil has become a rare and therefore expensive commodity. Consequence of the war in Ukraine, which supplied 60% of world sunflower production before the conflict, and the end of Russian exports. A headache for restaurateurs, big consumers of oil.

At Rodolphe Perret in Valence in the Drôme, one hundred liters are used each week and the price has almost doubled: “Before, a 30 liter container cost around 47 euros. Now it’s around 80 to 90 euros depending on the supplier“. A price that continues to climb every day.

What create a windfall effect among farmers. In the south of the department, several have planted sunflower instead of other crops, attracted by the rise in sunflower prices and the guarantee of selling their production in this very tense context. “Today is interesting. Six months ago, sunflower was at 600 euros per ton. We had already won 100 euros compared to the previous year. There, we went up to more than 1000 euros“, explains Hervé Lauzier, farmer in Châteauneuf-du-Rhône.

There are those who are converting to sunflower and there are those who were already producing it and who, in view of the rising prices, have decided to increase the cultivated areas. This is the case in the Lot-et-Garonne with Vincent Rigo, a cereal farmer in Escassefort, who will plant three hundred hectares of sunflower this season, three times more than in previous years, with the assurance of generating profits. But for him, who is also elected to the Departmental Chamber of Agriculture, this sunflower shortage should make us aware of the necessary relocation of certain productions.

There, we feel that we are needed. We were already needed, but we weren’t told. Today, we really feel that people are becoming aware of the need for efficient agriculture in France.

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