The Agriculture delegateFisheries, Water and Rural Development of the Board, Francisco Acosta,. In this interviewgranted to ABC, discusses Key issues for the Cordovan countryside such as the new CAP, the impact of the drought or the increase in costs in the sector.
-The new PAC will enter into force on January 1 with the rejection of all agricultural organizations and the Junta de Andalucía. What will be an impact on Córdoba?
-It will be a very significant negative impact. Today we cannot say a concrete number of the loss of the help for our province because the royal decrees established by the law to establish the application of the CAP have not yet been approved, despite being less than a month and a half away from its entry into force. In the case of Andalusia as a whole, the Ministry is indicating that the loss may be around 5 million euros, but the data for each province is unknown. It should be noted that the losses will be very different between some farmers and others despite being from the same area because it will depend on the size of their farms. It is evident that small producers are going to see themselves greatly affected.
-The different agrarian organizations lament and criticize that in the absence of such a short time there is a great lack of definition with the lines of this program. Do you share this vision?
-It is a reality that there is a lot of uncertainty and uncertainty because until we have all the legislation on the table we will not know how producers have to act. Yes, we are clear that it is the most complex CAPso we do not understand that the rules of the game have not yet been approved, which generates a lot of uneasiness in the field.
-What is the regional administration going to do to mitigate these negative effects?
-There are many talks that are being given in recent weeks in the province on this subject and we try to be present in most of them clarify those aspects that we can report. Regarding the matter of burning of plant remains, from the Board we have wanted to get ahead and have approved a protocol to allow these very important practices in the field in a controlled manner in forest areas. Also We are working on making some of the eco-schemes more flexible so that they are better adapted to the current reality of agriculture.
“With the new CAP, we are working on making some of the eco-schemes more flexible so that they are better adapted to the current reality”
-What has failed in the negotiation of the CAP?
-We understand that the Government has acted with its back to the autonomous communities and the agricultural reality of each of them has not been contemplated. The situation of the primary sector in Andalusia has nothing to do with that of other areas of Spain.
-Drought and lower water supplies for irrigation are keeping producers from Cordoba awake at night. What is the Ministry doing about this problem?
-The chairman of Andalusia, Juanma Moreno, already said in his investiture speech that this has to be the water legislature. We have already approved two drought decrees and a third one will be out shortly, in addition to the fact that a sectoral table and a committee of experts have been created to deal with this problem. We have launched more of 4, million euros for hydraulic infrastructures, as are the treatment plants. The rains that have been registered these days are welcome, but they are not enough. It would take about 1, liters per square meter to fall to guarantee this campaign and the next one.
-You and the Government delegate placed the beginning of the works on the secondary connections between the La Colada reservoir and the Sierra Boyera reservoir a few days ago at the end of 223. Isn’t that a long time taking into account the very worrying hydrological situation in the northern part of the province?
-We must remember that this project, which was forgotten since 29, has been recovered by the current regional administration. We had to start a new wording of the project. We are pending the declaration of urgency in order to halve the administrative steps. Once it is approved, the tender will begin and we hope that in the middle of next year we will be able to start the execution of the work.
“It would take about 1, liters per square meter to fall to guarantee this campaign and the next one”
-What is the Andalusian Government doing in the face of the sharp increase in the production costs of agricultural entrepreneurs?
-We are betting on direct aid that arrive so very quickly to the affected sectors. A financial support package was approved on the occasion of the war in Ukraine and in recent days we have promoted another direct aid plan that can be requested from November 23 and that will involve an investment of about 26.8 million euros for sectors so relevant in Córdoba, such as citrus, vineyards, milk goats or intensive pigs. We hope to be able to repay these grants before the end of this year.
-Olive oil prices are reaching very high levels and everything indicates that they may continue to grow due to the low harvest expected in the current campaign. Are you afraid that this could have an impact on demand, as some voices in the sector are already warning?
– It is true that there is a concern in that regard, according to what different entrepreneurs in the olive sector have told me. The production forecasts are what they are and, even, given the situation of drought that continues to plague us in these estimates may go lower. This affects the industry, but it is also a social drama because there is a lot of labor linked to the olive campaign. There are cooperatives that are already working alternate days instead of all the time. We hope that the price increase will alleviate this situation without affecting consumption levels.
-Is the excellence of the products of our six protected designations of origin (PDO) sufficiently promoted?
-The Board is trying to invest as much as possible in publicizing the high quality of our food. The Aid for Denominations of Origin collect grants of up to 4, euros, a significant amount to promote the quality and excellence of its products. The counselor has already announced that she wants to launch the ‘Gusto Andaluz’ brand so that all the products of our community have a quality seal before the world.
-Is the loss of surface area in Montilla-Moriles an insoluble problem?
-It is true that vineyards have disappearedbut I think the sector faces the future with optimism. It is necessary to improve the profitability of farms and the Board is committed to this with aid to facilitate the entry of young people and women for a value of about 8 million euros. Together we have to improve the promotion of Montilla-Moriles wines to increase their consumption at a national and European level.