“Deeply worried” farmers call for urgent measures to tackle drought and climate change

Portugal’s farmers confederation (CAP) is deeply worried about the lack of rain which is affecting the national agriculture sector and is urging the government to create urgent measures to adapt to the impact of climate change.

The warning came on the same day that the parliamentary group for droughts came together to discuss the issue, as forecasts suggest that April will be another dry month with little rain.

“We are very worried. Another difficult year is on the horizon, unfortunately. The country is again entering a period of water shortage not only at dams, but in the soil,” the president of CAP told TSF radio.

Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa explained that several crops are being affected by the shortage of water, such as corn, wheat and barley.

Farmers say they are tired of facing the same problems, “year after year”, and believe that a long-term plan is needed to face the issue of climate change.

“There are measures that have to be studied and implemented so that we can face these changes as a new pattern of our country’s climate, which will lead to changes in crop cultivations,” said Oliveira e Sousa.

The confederation also believes that the new national irrigation plan, created by the government last year, does not meet the sector’s needs and calls instead for more financial help and new in-depth studies about the impact of droughts and new crops.

Portugal’s Permanent Drought Commission (Comissão Permanente de Seca), which includes members from several ministries, was due to meet this Wednesday to discuss the situation.

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