The Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-ASAJA) has denounced that the ban of the use of the active substance methyl chlorpyrifos in kaki cultivation and the lack of effective alternatives will bring the impact of pests to record levels.
In fact, according to a technical study carried out by the association, Valencian kaki producers will suffer losses exceeding 24 million Euro this season alone due to the reduction in the harvest. The total volume of fruit lost in the field will reach 80,000 tons, which represents an increase of 30% compared to last year. To all this we must add the loss of employment and the resulting economic impact affecting warehouses, shippers and traders.
The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, warned that “the health emergency situation is threatening the future viability of a crop that has become a flagship product for Valencian agriculture. The entire Spanish fruit and vegetable sector has asked the administrations not to ban methyl chlorpyrifos without first providing growers with other equally effective control methods. At the moment, kakis are affected just like citrus and other fruits have been before, with an increase in phytosanitary treatments that hasn't prevented pest attacks, an increase in food waste, a loss of competitiveness and environmental degradation.”
Aguado wonders “where are the politicians that will take responsibility for their decisions and compensate growers for the damage caused? What else has to happen for them to realize that urgent changes are needed in phytosanitary policy? When will the Government stop adhering to the mistaken EU approach that ignores the climatic conditions and pests that affect Mediterranean agriculture?”
AVA-ASAJA has sent a letter to the Valencian Councilor of Agriculture, Mireia Mollà, asking for her involvement. She should request both compensations and tax measures from the central government and work to provide the sector with sufficient phytosanitary and biological products that are truly effective in the fight against dangerous pests.
For more information: www.avaasaja.org