On Monday, January 27, a meeting was held in Almería between the Councilor of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Carmen Crespo, and the province's fruit and vegetable sector organizations.
The meeting started with a balance of the damages caused to Almeria's productions by storm Gloria. According to the Council's data, the acreage affected is estimated at 1,700 hectares, with at least 200 of them completely flooded.
In line with the seriousness of these data, Crespo announced prompt action, including the submission of a proposal for a declaration of "natural disaster" to the Governing Council. This would make it possible to expedite aid for those greenhouses that have suffered productive losses exceeding 30%. These grants will entail an increase in the provision of aid to mitigate the effects of the storm, which are estimated at four million Euro.
The Council also announced the preparation of a report of damages that will be transferred to the Ministry of Finance to request the approval of tax discounts for the owners of the farms affected. This reduction would be applicable to the income generated in 2020.
The meeting with the Interlocution Table also served to establish the protocols that will be used for the development of some of the projects with which the Andalusian Government wants to prepare for the future.
The most essential proposals are those for the implementation of two platforms: one for innovation and another for marketing. The former is meant to rely on institutions with a strong focus on research and innovation, such as the Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training Institute (IFAPA), the University of Almería, the Tecnova Foundation and the Las Palmerillas de Cajamar Experimental Station. This will make it possible "to have the resources to become stronger and adapt Almeria's horticulture to the requirements of the European Union and the markets."
The second of the planned platforms is the one intended to improve the marketing in the province, with a strong presence of the sector itself. It must bring company integration, promotion tools and improvements in the commercial network.
Throughout this process, the Council seeks a direct involvement of the sector to address issues such as the prevention of natural disasters, the efficiency in the use of water, the protocols for biological control or organic production or the striving for energy efficiency.
For all this, Crespo announced the granting of almost 120 million Euro in aid this year to fund the operational programs of the PO's.