SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Oct. 13 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands, Alicia Vanoostende, has guaranteed this Wednesday that the losses caused by the volcanic eruption on La Palma to banana trees will be covered with public aid.
In response to a question from the Socialist Group in the Parliament control session, he pointed out that there is “very important damage”, with more than 90 hectares buried by lava and many isolated farms without the possibility of irrigation.
The counselor has commented that there is a “catastrophe” on the island derived from the loss of homes and the damage to farms in the best banana area of the Canary Islands – Valle de Aridane – but has transmitted “tranquility” to farmers because the losses are to be covered.
In this line, he has indicated that the Ministry will manage the 20.5 million in aid from the Ministry of Agriculture but “while they arrive”, they will anticipate 10 million in minimum aid with their own funds, to which another 10 million will be added. Agroseguro corresponding to the summer fire in El Paso and the advance of 70% of the Posei aid in December.
In addition, he has commented that work is being done on the protection of workers and the self-employed affected by the activity stoppage.
Manuel Abrante, from the Socialist Group, has pointed out that the banana subsector contributes 13% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of La Palma and only last year generated 135 million in income and another 45 million in subsidies.
He has said that the eruption threatens to destroy the area with the highest concentration of bananas in the Canary Islands, which would be an “absolute drama” because a third of the island’s jobs depend on this area of the Aridane Valley.
Likewise, it has warned that the yield of the productions is falling about 30 percent since the volcanic ash is scratching the fruit “and it is useless” because it does not comply with the commercial standards set by the European Union.