Agricultural income continues to decline in the Extremaduran countryside

The ‘Report on Extremaduran agriculture and livestock’ corresponding to 2022, edited by Fundación CB with the participation of Ibercaja, reflects a “bad” and “negative” year, and in which agricultural income continues to decrease, aggravated by the increase of inputs and production costs with inflation and, likewise, with the increase in financial costs.

In this way, “the drop in income is a bad fact, but it is increased by the rest of the data,” according to the university professor and author of the same, Ramón Sanguino Galván, who has detailed that all the data, All the figures that support this document, which have been written from an international, national and Extremaduran point of view as in previous editions, indicate that 2022 “has been a bad” and “negative” year.

Regarding “the worst” of last year, he specified that “it has been in general terms”, since plant production “has been worse by far” than animal production, “but in general terms the number we are looking for is that of agricultural income, and that has clearly been the worst”, after which he stressed that the data “is worse than the 18th”: “that is, we have passed the pandemic, the 21st was absolutely good, as it could not be otherwise , but we are in year 22 in values ​​prior to 18.

“We have, in quotes if you will allow me, lost five years, we have not managed to advance anything in the last five years,” said Sanguino Galván in statements to the media before the presentation of the report at the CB Foundation headquarters, in which has indicated that the year 22 is an “atypical” year due to the drought and another series of circumstances that are also related in the book.

Fall in agricultural income

For his part, and regarding the fall in agricultural income, he explained that “it is not very big” and that it is 7%, but that it must be taken into consideration that “it is only one year” and that “losing only in one year, 7% is a lot” if, in addition and as he has reiterated, “it is aggravated by the rest of the issues”

A “very relevant” fact from his point of view is that agriculture and livestock represent around 3% at the national level, which “is relatively little”, while in Extremadura they have always been contributing in gross added value around 9%, and the previous year “in fact” they contributed this percentage, when in 2022 it has dropped to 7, after which he has assessed that the lowering of the importance of agriculture and livestock, “fundamental” for Extremadura, of a 9 to a 7 “is something really very negative for the sector.”

At the same time, and asked about the most positive data in the report, Ramón Sanguino Galván emphasized that it shows some of the crops that are the “exception”, and that, specifically, that of 2022 and the last years are the pistachio, the fig tree or some other nut crops that are listed in the report, “but as clear exceptions” that he did not want to highlight “because in reality they account for less than 1%.”

And, as has been pointed out, there are certain crops, organic agriculture or livestock farming in which in the 22nd there is “a clear rebound and therefore it is positive”, but which “are absolutely exceptions” that have had “almost » what to look for to make them « relevant.

On this same topic, he has pointed out “those clear exceptions” that the crops “are very minor” and that in the case of the almond tree it has increased by 100% in the last seven years or the pistachio by 1,000%. «That is to say, there are absolutely extraordinary crops, but I insist they are absolutely the exception, the year cannot be classified as good for a few crops with a lot of growth, from a growth of 200 hectares to 2,000, of course it is 1,000%, but it is not nothing significant,” he reiterated.

Likewise, he has delved into the fact that “not necessarily” the new hectares of new crops are detrimental to the old ones, and that in the specific case of the year 2022 there are fewer hectares cultivated “of everything”, and especially corn, rice or others. crops, including tomato, have reduced their cultivated hectares, while those that are growing, the almond tree, the fig tree or the pistachio, “are not to the detriment of other crops,” and “if they were, it would be more produced.” due to the drought, which forces the cultivated hectares to be rebuilt”, but not due to “a direct replacement”.

Finally, and in terms of employment, he has admitted that, “almost surprisingly”, “he is not the most affected by this lower income and these fewer hectares of crops” and that he maintains “very accurate” scales, while unemployment , the opposite variable, has fallen in all sectors, also in agriculture and livestock, considering that employment “is not necessarily” harmed by the decrease in income, and that it is understood that the one that is harmed by it is the owner.

Analysis of the Government of Extremadura

The event was attended by the general director of Agriculture and Livestock of the Government of Extremadura, José Manuel Benítez, who highlighted that he has been able to look at the report and that they will analyze it “in depth”, as well as that it reflects the situation that has in the Extremadura countryside, and that it is something that the regional Executive and “above all” the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Sustainable Development “intends to change and improve” as it is, “in some cases”, “dramatic for the sector ».

As far as measures are concerned, he recalled that the Government Council has approved at its meeting this Tuesday a decree law that will regulate aid for farms in the region affected by the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and which amounts to a total amount of 3.4 million euros, and he has called it “urgent”, “immediate”, which is something for which “quick responses” are needed and that has been the “intention”.

Regarding the rest of the sectors, they are working and listening to the representatives of all the agricultural organizations, to address their demands that, in “many” cases they were already aware of, and in response to which they have to make decisions that “cannot be arbitrary, but rather “that have to be agreed upon with the sectors.”

In turn, the president of the CB Foundation, Emilio Vázquez, has shown his satisfaction at being able to present this new contribution to the world of agriculture and livestock, a “very specific and specialized” field, and has highlighted that they have been presenting this report for a long time. more than 30 years and that most of the farmers and ranchers in the region are waiting for it and that in it they will find a document “as always, of vital importance for their information.”

Finally, the territorial director of Ibercaja for Extremadura, Andalusia and the Canary Islands, Fernando Planelles, has highlighted the importance of this report and its trajectory and that the bank’s contribution has allowed it to give a new “vision” to it, until now very focused on the academic field, in such a way that Professor Ramón Sanguino has been able to shape it so that it can be viewed digitally for the consultation of farmers and ranchers or also companies related to agribusiness, a “reference, fundamental sector in our economy, in our society”.

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