The Spanish regions of Murcia and Almería have joined forces to defend the values of the most advanced agriculture in Europe. Representing the horticultural producer and marketer sector, the presidents of PROEXPORT (Association of Producers-Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables of the Region of Murcia) and COEXPHAL (Association of Organizations of Producers of Fruits and Vegetables of Almería).
Juan Marín Bravo and Juan Antonio González Real, respectively, have endorsed the alliance of both organizations to promote and protect the values that drive the most innovative and dynamic horticultural sector on the European continent.
In a meeting held today in Pulpí (Almería), together with the Agriculture Councilors of the Region of Murcia, Antonio Luengo, and Andalusia, Carmen Crespo, they staged their determined support to promote policies and investments that ensure the future of irrigation water , agricultural production and employment.
For the future of the horticultural sector, both provinces need water in quantity and quality, at an affordable price for irrigation. “If agriculture is an essential sector, if the nutrition of all Spanish and European citizens is essential, then the water from the Tajo-Segura Transfer, which brings us the most essential resource for our activity, must have special protection for that it should not be lacking in the production areas,” said Marín.
Juan Antonio González Real highlighted “the need to have the necessary irrigation infrastructures, such as the transfer of the Tajo-Segura and the Negratín-Almanzora, to ensure that the water reaches where it is needed, at an affordable price for the irrigators.” The president of COEXPHAL considers that for desalinated water to be a sustainable complement in agriculture, it should have a reduction in the cost of the high energy it consumes.
Both organisations highlight the environmental and employment benefits of the horticultural activity in south-eastern Spain: “We are committed to good agricultural practices, environmental sustainability and decent working conditions for all. That is the identity and values of agriculture that we defend and practice. Those who break the rules do not represent us and harm the group of farmers and horticultural companies that we are doing well,” said Marín.
PROEXPORT and COEXPHAL also demand that the access of the horticultural sector to direct payments from the CAP be approved, in order to thus incorporate these productions into the eco-schemes that will promote beneficial agricultural practices in the fight against climate change.
Both associations call on the Government of Spain to grant the agricultural sector and its companies access to the European Recovery Funds to co-finance their investments in innovation, circular economy in the fruit and vegetable value chain and in the incorporation of technologies that improve competitiveness, sustainability and employment in the sector ”. They ask that the window of the aid distributed by these funds be open in the different Ministries to projects in the sector, and not only in Agriculture, to which only 1,050 million of the total that Spain will have has been allocated.
Horticultural entrepreneurs from Murcia and Almería have accompanied both Councilors during a technical visit to farms with different varieties of lettuce and greenhouses with 4.0 technology for climate control and automation of the cultivation and harvesting process. Both organisations appreciate the visit and the support received by Councilors Luengo and Crespo for their claims.