22-01-2016Miquel A. Cañellas

The Balearic government has launched a series of measures to help the farming community combat the drought. The technical committee that is monitoring the dryness has met for a second time and received a report from the ministry of the environment and agriculture, as had been requested at the first meeting. This suggests that, although there has been more rain in certain parts of the islands than others, it has been insufficient and that the situation is worsening.

The minister, Vicenç Vidal, has, therefore, announced the measures. One of these is to ask for a reduction because of losses in tax declarations. This was initially planned only for Ibiza but the government wants it to be extended to all the islands. A further measure is to provide assistance for the purchase of food for livestock, some 200,000 animals, for which the amount of funding and targets will be agreed. Aid will also be sought from the services for the improvement of agriculture and fisheries.

In addition, financial assistance for the purchase of dried alfalfa for bovine farms will double from 750 to 1,500 tons, while negotiations will continue for loans from the Balearic Society for Reciprocal Guarantee to be made available to co-operatives for the purchase of food.

The government also wants to promote the use of treated water for irrigation, for which there will need to be improvements to the maintenance of treatment facilities. Other measures include the freezing of the cost of meat incineration, positive discrimination in favour of farmers and the promotion of organic farming.

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