The Minister of Agriculture promises compensation in the Pyrénées-Orientales

A bandage before summer burns. The Minister of Agriculture Marc Fesneau, visiting the Pyrénées-Orientales on Saturday, promised farmers that they would be compensated for the losses suffered due to the drought, unprecedented at this time of year, which hits the department. “There is distress among these people who cannot have access to water, who can lose everything,” said the minister during a press conference in a fruit cooperative he had just visited in Ille. -on-Tet.

“We will cover the loss of crops or the loss of funds,” he added, referring in particular to arborists who may lose not only their crops but also their trees. “We have 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’s a crisis situation like Covid,” he said.

Guy Banyuls, an operator whom the minister also visited in Espira-de-l’Agly, said that there was “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. “It would take heavy rains,” he said. 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 the 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.

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