In the “hypothetical case” that the EU does not allow the use of the EAFRD, budgets of own funds could be drawn for the drought, assured the Minister of Agriculture
The Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, Population and Territory, Begoña García Bernal, has highlighted that the Junta de Extremadura and the Ministry of Agriculture are working so that professionals in the field who cannot irrigate their land have direct aid.
Along these lines, he recalled that for two months they have been working with the Ministry so that the European Commission authorizes the use of the EAFRD, of the European funds of the Rural Development Program, just as it was done with covid-19, to go from pillar two to pillar one and to be able to give direct aid to those farmers who cannot irrigate their land.
Thus, it has affected that last Thursday this proposal was resubmitted by eleven member states, to which the European Commissioner for Agriculture said that it was going to be studied “very seriously” to see if it is possible.
«And logically we have to do it, if the European Commission authorizes us, we are going to do it and we are going to establish a direct concession without competitive competition, because the Subsidies Law allows it. In addition, these crops are PAC and that direct aid to those hectares can be paid quickly before the end of the year, beware, as long as that water efficiency is used », he affirmed.
The Minister of Agriculture has made these statements in an interview on the program ‘Primera Hora’, on Canal Extremadura Radio, collected by Europa Press, in which she has also indicated that until May it will not be known what the hectares are and the number of farmers left without irrigation.
“At that time we would be in a position to start working with these aids”, remarked García Bernal, who at the same time clarified that the potential beneficiaries will also receive the basic payment and the green payment.
Likewise, and asked if the European Commission did not authorize the change of pillars, the Extremaduran councilor said that “she has to do it.”
Also, and regarding the aid established by the Government of Spain in the National Plan in response to the consequences of the war in Ukraine referring to the primary sector, the Extremaduran councilor has shown her satisfaction with the aid that will be allocated to meat farming, since Extremadura would receive 20 percent of the total amount in cattle, 25 percent in sheep and 10 percent in goats.
To this would also be added an “important part” for dairy goats. “Livestock is one of the sectors most affected by the cost of production, so important that it has been suffering for a long time, and the dairy sector is the one that has suffered the most,” he stressed.
«We and all the autonomous communities proposed with the crisis reserve that the European Union had made of putting 64.5 million on the table that it be the Government of Spain, the Ministry of Agriculture, the one that doubled that amount, which at the beginning it was not like that”, he said, since the European Commission, the Government and the communities should initially contribute 64.5 million each.
Although, as he has explained, it has been the Ministry itself that has assumed the total cost of this crisis reserve, which is something very important, since, Extremadura, in the “hypothetical case” that the EU does not allow the use of the EAFRD, could draw budgets of own funds for the drought, has assured.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.