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Spain: Producers request citrus fruits be included in the aid package

The Association of Producer Organizations integrated in the Citrus Management Committee (AOPCC) was informed by unofficial channels that Valencia's Ministry of Agriculture means to exclude, without any justification, all of the member OPs from getting extraordinary aid, according to a statement. The aid that the Council could enable tomorrow amounts to some 700,000 euro and has a phytosanitary objective: removing and destroying the fruit damaged by the hail in early July last year, which had a serious effect on the agricultural plantations of the two Riberas and La Costera and thus avoid the spread of pests, such as the Ceratitis capitata.

In fact "... during the last few days, farmers linked to cooperatives who thought they would benefit from this aid began to hire labor to collect and eliminate the fruit affected, even before the measure is approved, which could prove it has been arbitrarily done. Moreover, before knowing its final draft, we already know that the aid will benefit seven cooperatives in the area."

The AOPCC, which has up to 25 OPs in a non-cooperative legal formula (mainly SAT's), warned that, "the measure, in addition to being discriminatory, will not be able to achieve the planned phytosanitary purpose. Excluding the productive lands of the member OPs of this association will lead to having reservoirs of pests and diseases right next to the properties that are benefited by the measure, as there will be producers that won't be able to finance such sanitation. Under these conditions, it is almost certain that the expansion of the pests that affect persimmon or citrus fruits, which are majority in these three regions, won't be stopped."


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