Farmers, tractors headed for Berlin to protest agricultural policies

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Hundreds of farmers  made their way to Berlin for a demonstration against government’s agriculture policies and snagging traffic in and around the German capital with their tractors.

Organisers said they expected 10,000 participants and around 5,000 tractors at the protest, which will be held at the iconic Brandenburg Gate starting at noon (1100 GMT).

The farmers are also rallying against plans for stricter requirements for the protection of insects and the environment.

They also want further restrictions on fertiliser to protect groundwater, among other things.

The protest was called by a group called Land schafft Verbindung, which unites 10s of thousands of farmers in Germany.

Some protesters had parked tractors on both sides of the Brandenburg Gate.

Traffic was disrupted between the monument and the Victory Column, which is about 2.5 kilometres away.

Public transport is also expected to be hampered by the protest.

More than 1,800 tractors left the nearby state of Brandenburg to join the protest with more expected to follow.

Police called on motorists to exercise caution, following two accidents that involved drivers attempting to overtake the tractors.

German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner is scheduled to address the farmers at noon.

In October, demonstrations were carried out by farmers in several German cities including Berlin.