The Spanish countryside demands aid and does not rule out an autumn of mobilizations

The primary sector faces the start of the new academic year showing high production costs, low prices at origin and a forecast of widespread declines in production due to the drought, issues for which it calls for aid to the Government while not ruling out undertaking new mobilizations.

Agro-food cooperatives of Spain and the agricultural organizations Asaja, COAG and UPA coincide in highlighting these issues as the main problems of the Spanish countryside, along with others such as speculation, lack of fertilizers or deficiencies in the law of the chain.

They are the same problems for which the professionals of the primary already manifested themselves last spring, now aggravated by the uncertainties that the Spanish economy will face this autumn, especially due to gas restrictions and the persistence of high inflation.

“The solution is not so much mobilizations but sitting down and arbitrating measures because we must continue to maintain the productive structure of Spanish agriculture that feeds us and Europeans,” the president of the Spanish Agro-Food Cooperatives told Efe. Angel Villafranca.

The organization understands that the field is a “recovery engine”, an industry that “does not relocate” and that is always in the territory”, and that all this “must be reflected in incentive measures”.

Specifically, the highest representative of Cooperatives has mentioned that there are aspects, such as “the tax issue”, in which the authorities can help, as well as in cushioning the cost of electricity, improving the irrigation system and supporting transport, both nationally and internationally, among other issues.

“We understand that right now all of society is suffering from the energy crisis and inflation, but in the countryside the situation is worsening because we are a sector that has been weakened for months and cannot pass on all the increase in costs to the final price, and that has led to very weak and subsistence economies,” Villafranca said.

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On the other hand, Asaja sources have told Efe that this month the Board of Directors will take place in which it will analyze whether new demonstrations will be undertaken, and for now they reiterate what they communicated last August, when the organization predicted a “hot autumn before the unsustainable situation in the agricultural sector”.

Asaja then also pointed out that the protests have been taking place in different parts of Spain since the beginning of the summer and that in the Board of Directors the president of the organization, Pedro Barato, “will propose to start a new phase of mobilizations throughout the national territory in order to to fall.”

“It seems that this Government forgets the essential work that the primary sector performs by providing essential food to society. If this task is interrupted, or production does not reach the market in the necessary quantities, it will be putting at risk not only the future of the agricultural sector if not also our food sovereignty,” Asaja said in August.

Meanwhile, COAG sources have indicated to Efe that “for the time being”, and after holding an Executive Commission this Friday, “there is no decision regarding undertaking a mobilization process.”

They have, however, initiated an “analysis of the situation” in the different agricultural and livestock sectors and a “listening process in the autonomous communities with the regional unions of COAG”.

Finally, UPA sources told Efe that at the moment they do not plan to carry out demonstrations, but that they are “vigilant and denouncing the problems suffered by the compañeros and compañeras in the field.”

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“The situation is dramatic in many cases. Speculation, the non-repercussion of the rise in prices on producers, the problems after the fires… We are aware of the environment that is developing,” the sources said.

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