The agriculture industry is being deserted due to lack of economic profitability, yet, we all know that some deserts or almost deserts, due to a gold rush were filled with inhabitants. Politicians say that towns have to be filled with services; here where I am there are … for those who are left, the elderly. Another paradox is that in Castilla La Mancha the real estate tax has been raised, when almost all of those assets are owned by retirees, that is the social policy.
Those still in the fields have endured nearly two hundred thousand robberies of crops, machinery, those taking place only in the last year in this Community. No one would be able to leave their payroll out in the open with the envelope open. Farmers’ payroll has ended for years due to these bestial September floods.
In the fields, species disappear. Birds cannot live with so few insects, because we want fruits that have no spots. Peasant producers are attacked through ruin prices and bureaucratic complications. Lettuce, peaches and other products, including nuts, are sold in supermarkets with a 500% margin, and nobody does anything, the same with olive oil or potatoes. The acting minister says that they are the laws of the market. What laws? Because the bureaucratic complications, sanitary controls, the health guarantees that our products have, increases production costs and competition within the same products, but with production processes and costs that are not the same. To sell in the US requires some demanding quality and sanitary protocols. With those of us who compete, do we demand the same protocols as our products? Conclusion: We cannot compete and we will have finished with the commodities sector.
Without remedying this situation, they give subsidies to entice young people return to the countryside that is not and will not be profitable to live on. That is why it runs out of people. As long as changes are not made to many things in the generation of agricultural prices and consumption, the main responsibility falls on the paying customer.
Result: 800 thousand small farms that sustain the villages in which they are located disappear every year. The very clever, not including myself, say they are the rules of the market. While I eat an apple from Chile, that until I reach my hand exhaled into the atmosphere many kilos of CO2! I am surprised by the smart ones! Politicians, purchasing centers and citizen, do not wonder why the 75% of fruit plantations have disappeared from Spain. And, in no time grains.
The villages remain empty because artisan, livestock and farming businesses are eliminated due to lack of profitability. Salaries do not adjust to productivity, they are well above it.
The Minister is stunned when the interviewer tells him that this year there has been a very low production of oil worldwide and that the price in Spain is going down. This year, 2019, they are leaving the olives of Extremadura in their groves and the oranges in their trees for lack of benefit; if they had been harvested they would have taken money out of their own pockets. The same is happening with milk, legumes that are exhaling CO2 on their way from Peru or the fruits of Brazil. This involves large supply chains subject to the consumer who only looks at the prices linearly, purchasing centers and large distribution chains are attacking producers in order to satisfy the citizen who is not aware of how his purchase decision affects the dwindling livestock and agriculture enterprises in Spain. That citizen who does not have much criteria, apart from the price, contributes to the collapse of the profitability of the industry and, in little time, almost all the food in the field will happen to come from abroad, packed in millions of tons of CO2.
In the town where I write this, there are two of these young people, who have received farming subsidies, have worked … and, in the end, nothing. Like those before them who abandoned those same profitless lands only in order to survive. Working with prices, for example, of gains from 30 years ago and expenses of the twenty-first century. I insist again: What is the price in terms of the destruction of the climate for a fruit that comes from Chile to Spain? Artichokes and asparagus from China? What is its exhalation of CO2 in our environment by its transport? With the same guarantees as asparagus from Navarra?
We don’t want to understand how we destroy our planet. The consumer has rejected the possibility of growing in Spain, legumes, potatoes, oranges and maybe even olive trees.
José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena
Specialist in Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis