The Minister of Rural Affairs, José González, participated today in the meeting for the 40th anniversary of the Galician Meat Association (Asogacarne), together with the director of the Galician Food Quality Agency, José Luis Cabarcos, and the president of this association, Emilio González, where he highlighted the potential of the main sector, especially livestock, in Galicia.
In his speech, the councilor emphasized the role of the strategy to develop the Galician meat sector, which aims to position our community as a producer of quality meat, which provides a clear benefit for this area in the economy. Adding to this, and with the intention of increasing farming, José González referred to the Law for the Recovery of Agricultural Land, or the Pasture Plan of Galicia.
The head of Medio Rural took the opportunity to recall some help from the Galician government aimed at the main sector. In the specific case of meat, he highlighted 12 million euros in the call for producers of the Tenreira Galega Protected Xeographic Indication, whose application period is open from January 4 to February 5.
In addition, José González pointed out that the sector has another important call for contributions this year, which includes three aid lines with a budget of 44 million euros. This corresponds to subsidies for improvement plans, youth participation, and the installation of small farms. For the elderly, another 3 million were added as new, which corresponds to the participation of people between 41 and 55 years of age in agricultural and livestock activities, as much for productive investment and 500,000 euros in favor of generational change.
VAT reduction on meat and fish
The Minister of Rural regrets that the central executive maintains its veto on the temporary reduction of VAT on meat and fish, while that of other foods is considered. Due to this situation, he stated that the Government of Galicia will continue to demand that meat and fish be included in that measure.
José González, who described the decision to exclude meat and seafood products from the temporary VAT reduction as “a discriminatory measure,” assured that this position will be communicated to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, Luis Planas, “many times, if necessary.” This was done this week at the Sectoral Agriculture Conference, where the central executive continued to deny this reduction.
Fight against emerging diseases
During the intervention, the Minister of Rural reiterated the Xunta’s commitment to improve the protection of farms against emerging diseases, such as bluetongue or epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHE).
In light of the lack of a national plan against these two diseases, the head of the Rural Environment reiterated that a joint strategy between the central government and the autonomous communities will continue to be demanded in the face of the expansion of EHE and other emerging pathologies.
The Government of Galicia is working to mitigate their consequences, so it emphasizes that on January 10, a decree was published in the Official Gazette of Galicia, with retroactive effects from September 2023, to compensate for the loss of animals due to EHE, whose application deadline is November 29.
Finally, the councilor informed them that the Agrarian Council will activate a working group this month to anticipate the consequences of these diseases, animal and plant, that affect the sector. Among other lines of work, a computer application will be included so that farmers can report, in a more efficient way, any incident in their fields, with the ultimate goal of having an early warning system to train and inform farmers. of the possible risks of climate change.