SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Aug 26 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The president of the Association of Organizations of Producers of Avocados of the Canary Islands (ASGUACAN), Wenceslao Martínez-Barona Zerolo, has affirmed this Thursday that according to the estimates of the technicians, the past fire in El Paso and the heat wave have left losses of up to 80% in avocado crops on La Palma, since the claims occurred in the fattening phase, prior to harvesting.
In addition, he comments that “the scenario related to fire damage and high temperatures would be different if the avocado had group insurance.”
During their visit to the affected agricultural holdings on the island, the president of ASGUACAN and the manager of the Association, María Gabriela Pérez Méndez, have collected the demands of the farmers under the conviction that “the moment to face the problem and seek solutions is now”.
With that certainty, the association has held a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands, Alicia Vanoostende, in which the president and manager of ASGUACAN, Miguel Bravo Castañeda, also participated.
At the meeting, the association expressed the sector’s concern for the “dramatic situation” that exists on the island of La Palma, and reiterated the importance of having a formula that ensures production, allows maximum recruitment and improvement of conditions and costs for avocado farms on the islands, as is already the case with bananas.
For her part, the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands, Alicia Vanoostende, has promised to continue her intermediation to successfully complete this objective considered vital for the sector, ASGUACAN points out in a note.
Regarding the activation of help lines to mitigate the damage caused by the fire, Alicia Vanoostende advanced that her department is working on the evaluation of the losses through the work of the Cabildo and Agroseguro technicians.
The aid would cover damage not covered by the current insurance for avocado, as quickly as possible to meet the needs of farmers, which is another of the requests of the sector transferred by the association to the Ministry.
Since the end of 2020, the association has been holding rounds of meetings and work tables with the public administration, the State Agricultural Insurance Entity (ENESA) and the Spanish Group of Combined Agricultural Insurance Entities (Agroseguro), in order to agree on a final collective insurance document, a policy that acts as ‘solidarity insurance’ to guarantee all farmers.
In recent months, and after difficulties in concluding the negotiations, Asguacan has returned to the Agriculture area of the Government of the Canary Islands requesting mediation and the unblocking and acceleration of this measure for the Canary Islands avocado.
Asguacan also wants to convey the importance of work in the register of farmers (REGEPA), and the inclusion of producers within the Organizations of Producers of Fruits and Vegetables (OPFH), in order to have data, control production and support the farmer, more even in situations like those experienced at this time.