The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, Luis Planas, emphasized today that investing in the modernization of irrigation is part of the government’s priorities for the new legislature because climate change requires accelerating the transition towards an agricultural production model. more efficient consumption of water and energy.
Luis Planas explained that sustainable irrigation is necessary to ensure sufficient food production and because it increases the future possibilities of agricultural activity and youth. “It’s not just about production, but about doing it well, in quantity, quality, and in an environmentally sustainable way,” he said.
For this reason, the government renewed its commitment to modernization for this term, with a commitment to involve investments of more than 2,340 million euros until 2027, an unprecedented amount. “We are making a great effort to mobilize resources to improve irrigation because it is the future of our agriculture. I believe in sustainable and efficient irrigation; water is a precious commodity, and the exploitation of every drop increases the income of farmers,” he said.
This injection is also accompanied by a series of measures to streamline decision-making and streamline processes for the implementation of projects with all the corresponding environmental, technical, and legal guarantees.
This investment commitment, according to the minister, is another example of the government’s clear commitment and support to the agricultural and fishing sectors, which have become one of the fundamental pillars of the Spanish economy. He recalled the amount of extraordinary aid that was able to deal with the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the drought. In Galicia alone, 142.7 million euros in direct aid have been paid in the last year and a half, of which 79 million correspond to livestock farming, with the dairy sector being the main beneficiary.
The minister directed Ourense to sign an addendum to the collaboration agreement signed between the State Society of Agrarian Infrastructure (SEIASA), attached to the ministry, and the general community of irrigators in Nova Limia, which amounts to 35 million euros for the project for the comprehensive modernization of this network.
The minister emphasized the social scope of this investment, as it allows the consolidation of potato cultivation in the region of A Limia, in addition to promoting others. The project operates on an irrigable area of 2,576 hectares and benefits 1,822 farmers.
The production of this area is protected by the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Pataca de Galicia, a quality mark that gives added value to agri-food products, and with this development of the irrigation network, we will receive a bag of that enthusiasm.
This modernization project will replace the use of surface water from the Limia River and its tributaries with groundwater obtained from 42 wells whose collections are authorized by the Miño-Sil Hydrographic Confederation and which will be integrated into 4 irrigation networks. Among the works is the construction of three elevated ponds with a storage capacity of 75,000 cubic meters of water. The infrastructure will be equipped with telematic and self-control systems, and seven photovoltaic plants will be built to power the irrigation network.
The minister explained that the commitment to irrigation is consistent with the need to reduce the cost of agricultural production. Therefore, in addition to saving water, modernization projects also seek energy efficiency through the use of renewable energy and the reduction of the use of fertilizers and phytosanitary products. This means digitalization and the inclusion of new technologies.
The minister recalled that the Strategic Project for Agri-Food Reform and Economic Transformation (PERTE) is considering a line of assistance of 200 million euros for the digitalization of the water cycle in irrigation communities. The deadline for the first call, for 100 million euros, was open until a month ago, and a new call for the same amount is planned.
After the signing ceremony, the minister traveled to Xinzo de Limia to visit the irrigation area and learn about the details of the area and the actions to be taken.