These are the main claims that UCCL will take to the meeting convened next Wednesday, December 20, at the Douro Hydrographic Confederation (CHD) to analyze the National Water Pact where the OPA will demand a significant increase in infrastructures to regulate water from the rivers and also avoid situations of floods that could be reached in a period of drought like the current one.
“We are throwing an incredible amount of water into the sea”, lamented the coordinator of UCCL in Valladolid, Ignacio Arias, before a year of drought like 2017 that “has taken the palm” in the restrictions of irrigation to the primary sector after four years with problems without ruling out the possibility that 2018 is even worse because of the lack of widespread water in the entire Duero basin.
Arias will demand biannual, and even triannual, regulations from the CHD, as is already the case in other areas of the country, as well as aquifer recharge infrastructures as well as “a lot of information” and “absolute transparency” through more regular disbursement commissions so that farmers can plan their crops.
“There is hydrological drought, rainfall and also an important political drought in both the Ministry and the Junta de Castilla y León”, warned Arias, who has accused the administrations of having gone on vacation doing nothing and not having put solutions after.
“We hope that the drought will not be repeated, but if the EC repeats, it has resources,” Arias recalled, referring to the use of minimum aid measures that all OPAs have demanded to face crop losses due to the drought. 2017 “with many proposals in the media but very few or no proposals in the BOE”.
Arias has made these statements on the occasion of a press conference of UCCL to take stock of 2017, the worst year of the last four decades in which has suffered the hardest drought in a hundred years with sectors “important” of Castile and Leon very affected in prices, such as sheep, with a fall of 22 percent in two years, or the potato, which has lost 80 percent in twelve months.
The coordinator of UCCL, Jesús Manuel González Palacín, has added to the “generalized crisis” that has caused the drought the effects of the frosts that have caused “a lot of damage” in the vineyard or the cereal to which the situation with the that starts the current campaign in which the lack of water has caused nascence problems in the cereal and the loss of all rainfed rapeseed.
“The scenario is quite bleak,” said the UCCL coordinator, who estimated the losses of the primary sector at around 2,000 million euros.
On the other hand, Valentín García, from UCCL in Valladolid, has also questioned the “insufficient” support of the administrations that he has accused of having limited himself to selling smoke since only 240 million euros of bonus loans have been made against the 1,000 million announced by the Board to which it has joined that 40 percent of the requests have been denied, precisely, those of the most needy.
Garcia has also warned of the “insufficient” budget for the underwriting of agricultural insurance in a year in which it has made an appeal by the administrations to the subscription of policies to ensure crops and has requested a postponement of 20 to December 30 so that farmers who have not yet decided their crops can plan the plantings.
“There are more than enough reasons and justified,” said Valentin Garcia, who recalled that other years has been accepted that deferral, a decision that corresponds to Agroseguro but in which the Board “also have their influence.”
Those responsible for UCCL have been blunt to warn administrations that, with what is coming, if there are no measures will be lost many farms in Castilla y León with the concrete example of the farms that will pay straws and fodder at a price of “Christmas menu” when two years ago they had a “ridiculous” price.