Spanish areas demand EU assist to deal with drought disaster

Brussels, Might 25 (EFE).- Spanish regional authorities on Thursday known as for a “European response” to the extended drought that’s severely affecting the nation’s agricultural sector.

Rainfall has dropped by 26% between October 2022 and early Might 2023, in line with the State Meteorological Company (AEMET), in comparison with the identical interval of the earlier season.

The declining rainfall has meant that 80% of the Spanish countryside is affected by drought, in line with Spain’s Coordinator for Farming Associations (COAG).

(FILE) State of the Arguis reservoir, 1 Might 2023, 20 kilometers from the town of Huesca, which is at 6% of its quantity. EFE/ Javier Blasco

Throughout a debate on the European Fee’s Committee of the Areas (CoR) in Brussels, the governments of Catalonia, Extremadura and Murcia urged the EU to urgently reply to the disaster, together with by mobilizing disaster funds.

The drought may cut back olive oil manufacturing by half and grains by 25 %, the CoR famous.

Extremadura director-general of Exterior Motion, Rosa Balas, stated emergency measures authorized by the Spanish and Extremadura governments had been inadequate to take care of the drought, which requires a “European response” that “should be accompanied by European assist” within the type of elevated funds for struggling farmers.

Murcia regional authorities additionally urged the EC to “react as quickly as potential” and mobilize “the required assets” from the Frequent Agricultural Coverage (CAP) disaster reserve, with Adrian Zittelli, Murcia’s director normal for the EU, saying the water scarcity “can’t be addressed with the funds at the moment accessible.”

Tons of of farmers from Lleida affected by the water restrictions protest in Barcelona, Spain, 24 Might 2023, to name consideration to the scenario of the Catalan agricultural sector which is struggling amid excessive drought. The banner reads, in Catalan, “We save what we eat. With out farming, livestock and agro-industry there is no such thing as a nation.” EFE/Toni Albir

“We’d like extra assist measures to make sure the sustainability of agriculture, its financial viability and, in some instances, even its survival,” Zittelli stated.

He known as for the agricultural sector – which is vital to driving Murcia’s economic system – to be higher protected as it might probably assist “decelerate the advance of desertification in Europe”.

He additionally championed spreading the usage of sustainable practices to maximise the usage of water in crops, such because the purification and reuse of wastewater and implementing precision irrigation.

The Catalan Minister for Exterior Motion, Meritxell Serret, stated “European insurance policies” had been required to “comprehensively tackle” points corresponding to drought that stem from the local weather disaster, whose results “know no borders.” EFE


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