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Farmers' protests in Malaga Salvador Salas
Malaga farmers divided following agricultural minister's proposed solutions to end countryside protests across Spain
Farmers' protests

Malaga farmers divided following agricultural minister's proposed solutions to end countryside protests across Spain

Matías Stuber

Malaga

Tuesday, 9 April 2024, 19:07

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The unity that existed in the farmer protests organised by the agricultural associations (Asaja, UPA, COAG and Cooperativas Agro-Alimentarias) is a thing of the past. It comes after minister of agriculture Luis Planas put on the table a package of 43 measures to alleviate the complicated situation farmers in Malaga province and throughout the country are experiencing.

Among Planas' proposals is the reinforcement of the food chain law to prevent professionals from being forced to sell their products below the cost of production or a credit line with favourable conditions through the Official Credit Institute (ICO). The UPA signed an agreement with the ministry of agriculture to adhere to the road map proposed by Planas, while Asaja and COAG have distanced themselves from it. The move changes the scenario in which the protests were taking place and will affect future demonstrations with farmers and stock breeders represented by UPA to no longer be part of them.

UPA secretary general Lorenzo Ramos said the protests should have given way to tangible measures for farmers in the countryside. UPA believed the latest protests had shown demonstrations were deflating and the sector risked losing the concessions the central government, through the ministry of agriculture, is now prepared to make. "As representatives of the sector, we could not allow this agreement not to be signed because of the risk that many of the points addressed here could fall. We believed that we had to take the step and we hope that the rest of the organisations will join in soon," Ramos said.

Division

That waiting period is over. However, in the opposite way to that expected by Ramos. Both Asaja and COAG have rejected Planas' proposals, so the government cannot consider the crisis in the countryside, which began in February, to be over.

Asaja argued Planas' measures are "insufficient". The organisation believes that livestock farming has been forgotten and that "neither" are solutions offered to the "structural problems" of the sector, such as the "lack of solutions" for the water problem or the demanded review of the current agricultural insurance system.

COAG pointed out a "loss of confidence" in Planas, which is why the organisation chaired by Antonio Rodríguez in Malaga is not supporting his measures.

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