The Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau was visiting this Saturday, May 6 in the Pyrénées-Orientales. He promised the farmers that they would be compensated for the losses suffered because of the exceptional drought which hit the department.
“There is distress among these people who cannot have access to water, who can lose everything”, declared the minister during a press conference in a fruit cooperative he had just visited in Ille-sur-Têt in the Pyrénées-Orientales. “We will cover the loss of crops or the loss of funds”he added, referring in particular to arborists likely to lose not only their harvest but also their trees.
“We need to speed up the system so that compensation can be received more quickly than usual”also estimated Marc Fesneau.
We cannot pay farmers in April 2024. It is a crisis situation like the Covid.Marc Fresneau
Minister of Agriculture
Guy Banyuls, an operator whom the minister also visited in Espira-de-l’Agly, affirmed that there was no “nothing concrete today” in terms of compensation, describing his situation as “catastrophic”. While his vines should survive the drought, he fears seeing all of his apricot trees perish for lack of water. “We need heavy rains”, he said.
“We have never experienced such drought with the impossibility of irrigating because there is no water.Guy Banyuls
We are facing exceptional heat. Usually we have these temperatures in June, there is snow on the Canigou, which is not the case today”says the farmer to the Minister of Agriculture.
In Ille-sur-Têt, the gendarmes held some 200 meters away about thirty demonstrators brandishing CGT flags which rang their pots. “Crisis” measures, including new water restrictions, are to be announced on Tuesday by the prefect of Pyrénées-Orientales, then come into force on Wednesday, in particular in “the territories of Têt and Agly”, two rivers coast crossing part of the department.
This border department with Spain is the most affected by the drought in France. It has not experienced a comparable situation since 1959, the date of the first measurements of this type by department, according to data from Météo-France.