The owners of monumental olive trees demand aid
The peasants and owners of monumental olive trees in the Sénia area demand direct aid to maintain this natural heritage, as established by the Law for the protection, conservation and enhancement of monumental olive trees and olive groves, approved by the Parliament of Catalonia in the year 2020. The Territorio Sénia Association, which brings together cooperatives, municipalities, companies and a total of 146 farmers and owners of 2,183 monumental olive trees, has made a statement in which it asks both the Catalan Generalitat and the Valencian Generalitat for decisive actions to guarantee the conservation of these protected trees.
In the case of Catalonia, the letter already sent to the Minister of Climate Action Teresa Jordà demands that what the law says be complied with, and especially several points. The first, that a catalog of olive trees and monumental olive groves be drawn up immediately, as a first step for the development and application of Law 6/2020. The Association and the Commonwealth of the Mesa del Sénia reiterate the offer of collaboration and experience to be able to do it quickly (they have their own inventory that needs to be updated).
However, special emphasis is made on the claim to incorporate into the budgets of the Generalitat for 2023 a sufficient item to meet the obligations that the Law imposes on the Government: in addition to direct aid to farmers to keep these trees in production, « Provisions should also be allocated for the promotion of products, the landscape or knowledge of the legacy». In case of extension of the previous budget, they demand that the corresponding item be enabled.
In the sector it has not sat well that the Department has earmarked an item of 664,100 euros for the purchase of 48 monumental olive trees in various nurseries. "With much less they would have satisfied the peasants and they must be prioritized," said the president of the Associació Territori Sénia, Jaume Antich. "As a matter of urgency, above all, help for farmers and owners (who have made the conservation of this heritage possible for centuries), and who now find themselves in an extreme situation that makes it possible to foresee a progressive abandonment of cultivation, if not remedy immediately », they affirm in the letter to the minister.
"If this effort is not made, there is a danger of regressing and going backwards," remarked the mayor of Santa Bárbara and president of the Commonwealth of the Mesa del Sénia, Sisco Ollés. "The expense they charge for the care and maintenance of the trees must be made more bearable," added the mayor of Ulldecona, Núria Ventura.
As far as the Generalitat Valenciana is concerned, they demand that the SIPAM (Important Systems for World Agricultural Heritage) aid materialize. Some aid that is reaching the Valencian orchard, the other agricultural system that is cataloged and protected by the FAO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.