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Spain: Valencia to double its organic production

The Vice President and Councillor for Equality and Inclusive Policies of Valencia, Mónica Oltra, stressed that the implementation of the Plan for Organic Production in Valencia "is another embodiment of the commitments made in the Pacto del Botánico, which consists of a transition to organic agriculture based on the recovery of the Region of Valencia's traditional farming models."

Mónica Oltra made this statement during the presentation of the draft Plan for Organic Production in Valencia 201620 to the various sectors involved to allow for the plan's assessment and improvement.

Oltra explained that this Plan is part of the green economy, "a production system that opens many possibilities for the creation and distribution of wealth using organic farming as spearhead."

The Regional Councillor for Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change and Rural Development, Elena Cebrián, who accompanied the Vice President, stated that approximately 6% of Valencia's agricultural acreage is organic, and that after the implementation of this plan the prospect is to reach 20% by 2020. She also added that organic production currently generates between 150 and 200 million Euro in turnover, representing between 3% and 5% of the total value of the agricultural production and that the objective is to double it to 10%, taking also into account livestock, beekeeping and organic aquaculture, which have great growth potential.

The Vice President explained that the transition to organic farming "will make it possible to supply higher quality food products in an environmentally-friendly way, as it is an effective method to fight climate change, contributing to curb water pollution, genetic erosion, deforestation, desertification and the loss of ecological wealth."

"It it also socially beneficial, because the system promotes work in cooperatives, small SMEs and family businesses, leading to an increase in incomes and reactivating an occupation model that was dying, as only 2% of Valencia's growers are under 30."

To boost organic production, the Rural Development Programme (RDP) has a budget of 23 million Euro up until 2020, with measures to support current practices and the conversion to environmentally friendly practices. Every year, 5 million will be invested. Besides, the Council has allocated 200,000 Euro of its own funds to support agro-environmental practices in 2016.

Valencia currently has 1,808 organic producers, 406 companies and a total of 73,656 hectares. The main crops are vines (36%), nuts (24%), cereals (15%), olives (13%) and citrus and other fruits (8%).

Source: GVA

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