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La Viñuela is one of the reservoirs in Malaga province that is in the most dire situation. Salvador Salas
The drought crisis takes its financial toll in Andalucía: 4.2 billion euros in 2023 and even more this year
Drought crisis

The drought crisis takes its financial toll in Andalucía: 4.2 billion euros in 2023 and even more this year

The eye-watering sums were revealed in report the Junta presented to the European Commission as the region pleaded for EU money to help tackle issue

Héctor Barbotta

Seville

Monday, 5 February 2024, 17:07

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The drought crisis in Andalucía cost 4.2 billion euros to the region in 2023 and projections for this year predict it will cost a further 4.5 billion this year, new figures show.

The figures were revealed as the Junta president Juanma Moreno travelled to Brussels to ask European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič to activate a solidarity fund the EU sets aside for disaster situations.

Moreno presented a report which detailed the impact the ongoing drought crisis is having on the Andalusian economy. The economic impact was 4,270 million euros in 2023 and is expected to be 4,525 this year.

The figures were reached after analysing the economy of all sectors affected by water scarcity, homing in on the agricultural production sector, which contributes 8.9% to the region's GDP.

Regional agricultural production fell by 13% compared to 2% in all of Spain last year, according to the figures. The agri-food industry also plummeted by 13% in 2023. Cereals is the worst affected sub-sector, with production dropping 35.2%, while non-citrus fruit production fell by 9.6% and vegetable production by 7%.

The drought has also hit rural employment, with a decline of 9.4% in the number of people employed in the agricultural sector in Andalucía, and 4.5% in the food industry, according to the figures.

The report also cited data from the ministry of Labour, which warned the number of agricultural companies registered with Social Security has fallen by 3% and the number of food exporting companies also dropped by 4%.

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