Freshuelva warned that "many berry producers in the province of Huelva are considering abandoning their crops and not planting the next campaign in the face of the refusal of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food to equalize sanitary conditions in the cultivation of berries in Europe and authorize the use of the necessary plant protection products for soil disinfection that are applied in other countries, such as Portugal, Italy, and Greece."
"It's a shame that the meeting recently held with the Director-General of the Ministry's Agricultural Production Health, Valentin Almansa, ended without a solution to a problem that affects the more than 11,000 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of berries in the province of Huelva, which need these plant protection products to ensure the health and economic viability of their crops," Freshuelva stated.
Seven hundred fifty berry producers in the province of Huelva have already signed letters addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (MAPA), Luis Planas, requesting that the government authorize the use of efficient formulations essential to combat pests in soils destined for berries crops, as has been done in previous campaigns and as other countries of the European Union have authorized their use.
The farmers recalled that berry crops generate more than 100,000 jobs in the province of Huelva. "Our sector will be seriously damaged if there is no solution to the disinfection issue, specifically the availability of effective tools for the control of fungi and soil nematodes," they stated.
"The government has decided to authorize tobacco producers to use the necessary plant protection products for disinfection, which means they're not being treated equally to other crops and Spanish production areas." According to the producers, this puts them at a disadvantage because the use of these products, which Spain doesn't authorize, is authorized in southern European countries, such as Portugal, Greece, and Italy; all of which are subject to the same legislative scope and Community Regulation 1107/2009.
"There will be irreparable damage to the sector and to the economy of the province if this issue isn't solved," Freshuelva insisted, adding that they hoped that the government officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, with whom they will meet in the coming days, will mediate with the Ministry to provide a solution to the sector.
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