A recent intervention by Agriculture minister Maria do Céu Antunes/ Facebook

Furious farmers “left empty-handed for third time” 

No CAP grant funding paid out despite minister’s promises

The Confederation of Farmers has accused agriculture minister Maria do Céu Antunes of failing them again.

It is the third time, they say, that they have not received any payments of Common Agricultural Policy grant funding. “Not a cent”, says a statement put out today.

Yet, according to the federation, Ms Antunes promised to pay out “a certain amount of CAP money in advance by May 30”.

That did not happen – and the minister set a new date (June), which also did not happen.

Finally, to today – and still no CAP payments.

The situation is “unacceptable” and now “assumes unsustainable proportions“, says the statement.

“As a result of the minister’s promise, farmers anticipated financial decisions, signed contracts and orders with suppliers and assumed responsibilities. The situations of non-compliance in which many farmers find themselves, are a direct result of the failure of the Minister of Agriculture to keep her word,”confederation president, Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa explains.

“The confederation has called on farmers who feel aggrieved by the situation to address their complaints and indignations in writing to Maria do Céu Antunes, as a form of protest”, writes Lusa.

In fact Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa’s encouragement is for his members to email the ministry “massively”. He supplies the relevant address.

More of this latest setback – coming at a moment where farmers are already hugely compromised by drought and rising prices – is expected within the coming days.

The sector has been crying out for recognition and support since the start of the Ukraine war, when issues already at play, like drought, were compounded by new problems.

It also has to be said that criticism of the minister of Agriculture and her handling of matters agricultural goes back a long way.

Source: Lusa

UPDATE: Since putting out their statement, farmers’ fury has received a response. The ministry of agriculture has said: “During the afternoon, the ministry will release a statement reporting that the payment of exceptional crisis support to farmers has already begun…

“The confederation has been quick to criticise”, the statement continues. “The day has not yet ended, and the ministry of agriculture and food is not at fault concerning what was stated previously”.