The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has chaired on November 8, by videoconference, the Advisory Councils of Agrarian Policy and Fisheries Policy for Community Affairs, with the participation of the councilors of the autonomous communities.
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The minister has indicated that Spain will report to the Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) next week on the effects that the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma is having on agriculture and the need to provide support for its farmers.
These are, above all, banana plantations, vineyards, avocados, citrus fruits and livestock farms, which have lost their accommodation, facilities and pasture areas.
Likewise, it will reiterate to the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development the need to make the management and application of the Program of Specific Options for Remoteness and Insularity (POSEI) more flexible, when faced with force majeure circumstances, to facilitate that farmers can receive their helps.
It will also express the need to explore ways so that POSEI aid and rural development aid financed by the EAFRD can contribute, in the future, to sustaining the affected farmers.
Among other matters, Planas has detailed that the European Commission will carry out a review of the situation of the markets of the main agricultural sectors. The minister will transfer to the Commission the existing concern about the increase in production costs: rise in raw materials, energy and transport, which poses a threat to farms and the Spanish agri-food industry. And the need to monitor the situation at the European level.
On the other hand, Planas recalled that the member states are currently immersed in the work of preparing the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) and quotas for 2022. The Presidency and the Commission will inform the ministers about the negotiations with the United Kingdom to set the TACs for the stocks that are fished in its waters, which are a very important part of the fisheries that develop in the Atlantic.
The priorities for Spain refer to the defense of the quotas of the main species of interest, such as northern hake, roosters and monkfish. And in the case of species such as cod from the west of Scotland and the Celtic Sea, we will insist before the Commission our position to maintain last year's TACs to avoid the dreaded choke effect and allow the Spanish fleet to cover, as up to now , their levels of bycatch. ■