Tuesday's protest outside the Ministry in Madrid. / sur

Malaga’s farmers protest in Madrid about high energy costs

Many in the agricultural sector believe the policies from the Ministry of Ecological Transition will make it unviable for their businesses to continue

MATÍAS STUBER MALAGA.

Farmers from Malaga province joined in a protest outside the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge in Madrid on Tuesday, 13 December, to demand that something is done to help them deal with rising costs of fuel, electricity and phytosanitary products. The Asaja young farmers association says the situation has become unviable in some agricultural sectors, particularly those who grow olives and citrus fruits.

The president of Asaja, Baldomero Bellido, was one of those who joined the protest. "When the politicians draw up their policies, they don't take the agricultural sector into account,” he said, and also “they are not taking the necessary measures to prevent the droughts which are leaving farmers with no water to irrigate their crops”.

The protestors are also concerned about the EU's new Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2023-2027 . This aims to increase the contribution of the agricultural sector towards environmental and climate targets fixed by Brussels, but the farmers say it is ridiculous.

"They have no idea"

“The reforms are in the hands of people who have no idea about the rural world and know nothing about what we grow and how we grow it. Once this comes into force it will mean fewer subsidies for farmers in Malaga, and many will not be able to comply with some of the demands it makes,” Bellido said.

Some of the protestors carried placards with complaints about the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, from whom they are demanding “more dialogue”. With just over two weeks before the new CAP is due to come into force, hopes of a last-minute change are reducing.