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ASPROCAN: "There are very few deadlines and opportunities left"

Minister Planas will defend maintaining the EU aid to the Canary Islands' banana sector

The future of the Canary Islands banana sector still depends on the final decision that Brussels adopts on the funds of the new CAP after the discussions in which the Council of Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the European Commission must finalize the last issues of the agreement for the 2021-2027 period. The proposals include a 3.9% cut in funds destined for the outermost regions (such as the Canary Islands), which would pose a serious threat to the banana sector.

The Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas told producers and his Canarian counterpart, Alicia Vanoostende, that he would defend the maintenance of the endowment of the Community Support Program for Agricultural Productions (POSEI), which barely accounts for 0.01% of all the CAP funds.

In total, the Canary Islands receives 268 million euro a year for the maintenance of its agriculture. This figure would now decrease by 10 million a year and, according to estimates from the Association of Organizations of Banana Producers of the Canary Islands (ASPROCAN), that loss could be twice as big each year when considering the inflation since 2013.

Sergio Caceres, the manager of ASPROCAN, valued the commitment of the Ministry of Agriculture and warned: "There are very few deadlines and opportunities left. We need that, in their next meeting in November, the proposed reduction be withdrawn from the commission, and the POSEI funds are maintained." According to the producers' spokesman, the reduction of the POSEI would harm their economy and set a dangerous precedent for the outermost regions' interests with the European Union.

Planas recalled that Spain, France, and Portugal (which also have outermost regions), and Greece have expressed in the different councils of ministers that this program and its capacity should be maintained.



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