WHILE the Agriculture Department initially reported damages caused by heavy rains in November and December had caused €209 million in losses, La Unio farmers union has upped this to €318 million.
Therefore, the union has demanded special measures to help those worst affected by the rains including reduced taxes, interest-free loans and reduced social security payments to help farmers recover.
Of the total estimated losses, €76 million correspond to Alicante Province, €91 million to Castellon and €151 million to Valencia, La Unio representative Ramon Mampel reported.
The worst damage was caused by the storms between December 16 and 19, affecting an area of more than 140,000 hectares of crops across the three provinces (almost 76,000 in Valencia, more than 39,000 in Alicante and more than 32,000 in Castellon). Citrus farms suffered the worst losses, followed by vegetables, olives and grapes.
La Unio has stated that although both the Spanish government and the Valencian regional government reacted quickly, announcing aid, this has been directed to repairing roads and other infrastructures but nothing has been provided to directly assist affected farmers and breeders.
Therefore, the union is requesting help to enable them to get their production up and running again and cover the inevitable losses.