Enthusiasm in advance
A conference on sustainable agriculture and also agroforestry took me to Fuerteventura at the beginning of February. During the preparation, I told them about the two events on the topic: The Agriculture of Tomorrow, and immediately the organisers from the Vitalis Foundation were enthusiastic and offered me to do part of the three-day workshop on this topic with the local farmers and participants.
Currently, the European Parliament is on the verge of budgeting the subsidies for agriculture for the next 7 years. The draft of the EU Commission is not very ambitious and hardly tries to find solutions in the face of climate change and species extinction. It is mainly the large farms and the food industry that benefit from the current proposal. The largest part, about 50 billion €, will go to these actors. The small and medium-sized farms, the local production get only small consolation patches. The event in Fuerteventura took place in the field of this current development.
Even though the situation here is quite different from that in Germany, which is comparatively rainy, the results were very similar to those of the first two events in Germany: the different groups all spoke out in favour of more support for regional production, less chemicals and genetically manipulated products, and participation in the decisions on the distribution of subsidies. Away from distribution by area, away from area premiums. There were particularly strong complaints about corrupt and obstructive bureaucracy. At the same time, and this was also said very clearly and repeatedly by many, especially by the farmers, Fuerteventura has a great potential to become a green, lively island with sustainable production. But the way the current EU funds are distributed in Spain and Fuerteventura, these funds are rather damaging, both to the local farming families and to the still existing nature (remains).
- Katja Wiese