“The Government does not listen to farmers and threatens intensive agriculture. The Government ignores that the area of so-called intensive crops in the Alentejo that takes advantage of irrigation will in the future represent no more than 15 percent of the total utilised agricultural area in the region”, they pointed out, in a statement to FAABA.
At issue is a resolution of the Council of Ministers, published in the Diário da República on the guidelines and recommendations related to information and sustainability of intensive agriculture.
The federation said that the government prefers to “invent more legislation”, rather than having a macro vision of the region, “as if this practice constituted a crisis”. Farmers in Baixo Alentejo also regretted that the executive made a “clean board” of the recommendations and technical opinions of farmers' organisations. “The Government should recognise that farmers are the first ones interested in complying with the global sustainability requirements of their farms”, they stressed.
In the document, the FAABA also considered the need to carry out a pilot project for the creation of sustainable production regimes for the cultivation of olive groves and almond groves in the Alqueva irrigation area and for the cultures protected in the Mira Hidroagricultural Development of Mira as inappropriate, as determined in the diploma of the federation, this is not justified by technical-scientific, environmental, social or economic issues, but by the need to “cover the political clientelism of parties that still make the current governance viable”.
On the other hand, the farmers argued that this measure also ignores a study requested by the Ministry of Agriculture to EDIA Alqueva Infrastructure Development Company on the cultivation of olive groves in the area of the Alqueva Multiple Purpose Enterprise (EFMA). He also pointed out, the conclusions indicate a set of “good agricultural and environmental practices”.
However, FAABA welcomed the creation of the Single Agriculture Portal and the need to create a register of operators in the food sector that produce and market fruit and vegetables. “By purely political tactics, instead of relying on technical scientific knowledge already produced, the Government commissions new studies, legislates separately, according to the beliefs of 'radical environmentalists' who do not know the territory and who are militant and political forces of minority interests”, they concluded.