A double barrier of bankers and environmental lobbyists is holding Danish farm development back, visitors to the 2009 Agromek-Livestock show in Denmark have been told.

Show chairman Peter Hansen said the two big problems for farmers nationally at present were the refusal of banks to grant loans for new farming ventures and an exceptionally long waiting period to obtain planning permission on farm projects. Difficulties with borrowing finance is related to the international economic crisis and a reduction in Danish prices for farm land, while the undue delay on winning approvals could be blamed on a regulatory process that the lobbyists were able to manipulate.

"The environmentalists have taken control in this country," Hansen declared. "They have so many opportunities to block the planning process. They do it without paying any cost. I say, make them pay each time their objections make the farmer wait to win permission, if they are not correct. We have farmers waiting three of four years for permission on a new project and on top of that the situation for bank loans has become very difficult."

Danish sources at the show added that some small banks in Denmark remain in danger of collapse. There are fears of a chain reaction of bank failures placing farms in jeopardy.

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