Farmers protested in Palma at the weekend.

07-03-2020Pere Bota

A report from the agriculture, fisheries and food ministry suggests that insularity results in 38 million euros additional cost per annum for the Balearics farming and livestock industry.

The report, some of the contents of which were presented on Wednesday, has been sent to the national ministry for agriculture and is the first step in seeking to ensure that the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) takes account of Balearics insularity.

The regional minister, Mae de la Concha, observed that farmers in the Balearics are aware that for the work they do, they earn half the amount of farmers on the mainland. The findings of the report, she said, justify differential treatment for the Balearics within the framework of the CAP. She added that climate change and increasingly extreme weather events are among reasons for maintaining a strong agricultural sector in the Balearics and for "not depending on what comes from outside".

Fernando Fernández, chief of staff at the ministry, emphasised the importance of the CAP, which represents 38% of regional budgeting and has the objective of ensuring the viability of farms and a decent income in the whole of the European Union. He noted that agriculture's contribution to Balearics GDP has fallen to 0.59% from the 1.5% that it was in 2000, while pointing to the fact that just 6.8% of farmers are below the age of 40. The price of agricultural land, Fernández, added, has increased by 55% compared with 35% nationally.

Mateu Morro, manager of the agricultural and fisheries guarantee fund in the Balearics, stated that the CAP is "highly unfavourable to Balearics farmers". "It has not served to boost competitiveness and modernisation. Instead, it has become an instrument for disadvantage." The CAP does not reflect insularity, and on average a farmer in the Balearics receives 40% less that the national average.

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