PAC president says farmers still haven't received 'one euro' in drought aid

The President of the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal (CAP) today regretted that at the end of the year, the sector had not yet received "one euro" from the drought measures that the Minister of Agriculture "announced almost every week ".

Speaking at a congress in Cáceres, in Spain's Extremadura, Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa said that "at the moment, in December", farmers have not yet received "one euro in relation to drought measures that the Portuguese minister announces almost every week". .

Speaking to the Lusa agency, on the sidelines of the III Luso-Spanish Congress of Extensive Livestock and Rural Development, which ended today, the president of the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal (CAP) insisted on the fact that the “people of the land” were receiving “zero” aid in the context of the drought.

“You don't even know when they will arrive. They are promised, they are committed, but they are crushed by the bureaucratic part and, in my perspective, because of the lack of political weight of those who should have already imposed a date for the aid to have been paid, "he said. -he criticizes.

For the farmers' representative, this person "is the Minister of Agriculture", Maria do Céu Antunes, and, as in Spain, "where they have already been paid", the aid "should already have been paid" in Portugal .

"To avoid the bankruptcy of hundreds of farmers who have stopped producing animals, they left their land very likely to be abandoned in the very near future for lack of help at the time when they had the rope around their necks" , he added.

As has happened in recent weeks, during which many agricultural organizations have criticized the Minister of Agriculture because of the transfer of sectoral competences to the Coordination and Regional Development Commissions (CCDR), the President of the CAP has insisted today on the subject.

Although Minister Maria do Céu Antunes has already assured that the regional directorates of agriculture will not be extinguished, for Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa it is a question of the "dismantling" of the ministry, which "is not acceptable" .

“The more she [a ministra] tries to explain the inexplicable, the more worried we become about the intention behind this decision,” he said.

In his speech at the congress, the leader of the association defended even more European support for extensive livestock farming, which, contrary to "radical ideas", contributes to environmental and territorial sustainability, since it is based on a diverse and rich ecosystem like cork oak forest (or dehesa in Spain).

The biennial congress in Cáceres began on Thursday and was co-organized by ACOS – Association of Farmers of the South, the Union of Health Defense Groups of Alentejo, Agrifood Cooperatives of Spain and the Federation of Defense Groups livestock health (FADSG).


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