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Spain: 2.13 billion euros to respond to drought

Launched a sustainable irrigation plan, and digitization of the Aragon and Catalonia Canal

"If water has a meaning, it is that of sustainable and efficient irrigation" capable of providing "greater stability and guarantees for food production". Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas said this during a conference on the digitization of the canal of Aragon and Catalonia, two of the Mediterranean regions most affected by the drought. In this regard, the Iberian government has made a commitment to modernize irrigation, with an investment program of 2.13 billion euros until 2027, of which 1,255 million correspond to the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (Prtr) . This modernization process aims to achieve greater efficiency of the irrigation systems, with a saving of at least 10% of the water used and, above all, the commitment to use non-conventional sources (recycled and desalinated water). Energy saving is also envisaged, with the introduction of renewable energies, and the reduction of the use of plant protection products and fertilisers.

Planas also emphasized that companies in the irrigation sector, thanks to their knowledge and experience, can play an important role as catalysts for new agricultural enterprises and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the new law on startups, approved last December.

At the same time, the minister announced that in the coming weeks, work will begin on the digitization and remote control project of the Aragon and Catalonia canal, which covers an area of 105,000 hectares in the provinces of Huesca and Lleida, and has a budget of 5.4 million euros and an execution period of two years.

The minister expressed his appreciation for the general community management of the Canal of Aragon and Catalonia, which brings together 130 irrigation communities and more than 12,000 farmers, the vast majority of whom are owners of small family farms, which he set as an example of good use of water.

Aragon is the second autonomous community with the highest number of investments envisaged in the Prtr irrigation modernization plan, with a total of 214.37 million euros, which represents 17.1% of the national total.

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EFA News - European Food Agency