Rising levels of drought / Southern European countries seek EU funding

2023-05-31 09:10:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
Rising levels of drought / Southern European countries seek EU funding
Illustrative photo

The lack of rainfall each year has started to have a serious impact on the agricultural industry in some areas.

The southern member states of the EU are increasingly worried by the drought in their territories, which is significantly affecting the agricultural sector.

Some of the worst-affected countries are seeking to mobilize funds from the bloc's so-called agricultural reserve, a 450 million euro package intended to support farmers in times of emergency.

"This year we are seeing, in the case of Spain, a drop of more than 30% in rainfall since the beginning of the hydrological year," said the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas.

"This has direct consequences, from the point of view of feeding the animals in the pastures, it also has consequences from the point of view of the winter crops that could not be done.

"This also has consequences for spring crops, which in some cases could not be planted, and also has consequences for irrigation, which has a lower yield. A report, first submitted by Portugal and also on behalf of France, Italy and Spain, paints a worrying picture for the future. At the end of April, 21.6% of the EU territory was in a "warning situation", with 3.2% in an "alarm situation".

Portugal and Spain are paying the highest toll for the lack of rain, but the Baltic and Scandinavian countries are also experiencing drier-than-usual soil.

Between October 2022 and April 2023, Spain faced a 24% below-average rainfall deficit, while in France 26 departments out of 101 are at high risk of drought by the end of summer this year.

In Portugal, the drought situation had a negative impact on agricultural activities in more than 40% of its mainland territory, as well as in Italy, where drought and floods have damaged livestock, vineyards, cereals, fruit and vegetable production.

Reduced river flow levels are also causing salt estuaries to rise from the sea in the Po delta in Northern Italy, making the waters unusable for agricultural needs./ CNA.al

Lajmet e fundit nga