La Unió denounces that “there is no response” to the allegations after two months. AVA-Asaja figures in 10% the abandonment of fields and in 30% the fall incapacity
The total silence of the Ministry of Agriculture on the calendar that will determine the deadlines for citrus growers to request direct de minimis aid budgeted with 8 million euros by the Generalitat Valenciana to meet losses that reach 279 million in the sector.
At this time, and after two months since the deadline for submitting allegations to their requirements was opened, La Unió de Llauradors continues without knowing when citrus growers can submit their applications.
” We have no response to the allegations, they just tell us that the administrative process is what it is and that when it finishes it, the final requirements for requesting aid will be seen,” reports the secretary-general of La Unió de Llauradors, Carles Peris.
It should be remembered that Peris made on Thursday the first estimate of citrus production for the next 2019-2020 campaign and the decline in production in the Community is estimated at between 800,000 and one million tons of citrus, as this newspaper reported.
AVA-Asaja also pronounced on Friday in the same line and estimated at almost 30% the fall in production compared to last season, which was one of the worst in the recent history of citrus farming and has led to a general decapitalization of farmers.
In this sense, and in the same way that La Unió warned, from AVA-Asaja they also emphasized the serious consequences of the millionaire losses that drown the citrus growers. If La Unió evidenced the increase in the abandonment of fields, as published in this newspaper, now AVA-Asaja figures this phenomenon in about 10% of the citrus area of the Valencian Community.
The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-Asaja) published on Friday a statement in which it offers a first orientation estimate and provides that citrus production of the next campaign in the Community will experience a decrease of between 20% and 30% compared to to the previous one.
The technical services of this agrarian organization have prepared an estimate based on a survey of nearly 100 citrus growers, members of the citrus sector of this association, which represent all producing areas, and the data collected predict that the future harvest of the 2019-2020 campaign will register a significant decrease both in the chapter corresponding to tangerines and in the section related to oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
The crop reduction will be much more pronounced in tangerines that will probably exceed 30% depletion, while in oranges, lemons, and grapefruits it could exceed 20%.
Varieties of 25% and 30% expected for satsumas and clementines respectively, as well as the 30% decrease that the group of hybrids could reach, stand out very significantly. As regards the group of navels and whites, they will experience a decrease that could exceed 20%.
The causes of this reduction in the productive performance of the Valencian citrus industry for the next season are mainly due to the natural alternation that, in terms of harvest, characterizes the citrus campaigns, that is, a high production exercise, as it was former, usually less fruitful.
However, all the data collected comes from producers who have not abandoned their activity and, unfortunately, the unquestionable increase in production will add an unquestionable increase in the abandonment of citrus farms due to the ruinous prices obtained by the producers throughout the last campaign, added from AVA-Asaja.
So much so that in some municipalities the lands dedicated to this crop could be reduced by 10 %. “We cannot assess the number of abandoned hectares yet, but surely the figures will be devastating,” said AVA-Asaja president Cristóbal Aguado.