Portugal | Irrigation
European irrigators present irrigation priorities to the Portuguese Presidency of the EU
European irrigators, represented by Irrigants d’Europe, presented to the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union the priority areas of action for sustainable irrigation.2/18/2021
In a meeting with the holder of the portfolio of Agriculture in the Government of Portugal and president of AgriFish - Council of Agriculture and Fisheries of the EU, Maria do Céu Antunes, the Irrigants d'Europe indicated 4 priority action pillars for the future of irrigation in the EU: Infrastructure modernization; Agriculture 4.0; Ecosystems; Mitigation of climate change and reuse.
Among the measures presented, the following stand out: the use of renewable energies in irrigation systems; the implementation of precision irrigation and digital technologies to increase land productivity and improve water quality; support for sustainable water governance practices; the improvement of ecosystem services provided by agricultural hydraulic infrastructures; the increase in water storage capacity and interannual regularization in river basins and the incentive to reuse treated wastewater in agriculture.
The areas of irrigation and water storage are an engine of economic and social development in the EU's territories and are inducers of biodiversity, by contributing to a mosaic of different and complementary uses of water.
European irrigators consider that the Portuguese Presidency of the European Council, during which important financial envelopes such as the Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Common Agricultural Policy will be decided, is a unique opportunity to affirm the importance of irrigation in sustainable food production in the Europe and in meeting the goals of the European Ecological Pact.
«European irrigators are fully committed to helping achieve the goals presented by the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council for Agriculture - rural development, food security and innovation - and consider that modern and sustainable irrigation and resilient water storage contribute to achieving such goals, ”said José Núncio, president of Irrigants d'Europe and president of FENAREG- National Federation of Regents of Portugal. "The dynamization of irrigation, based on efficient infrastructures and practices that promote ecosystem services, responds to the challenges of a resilient, digital Europe and a leader in climate action", he concluded.
For her part, the president of the AgriFish- Council of Agriculture and Fisheries of the EU, affirmed that "irrigation is absolutely decisive" to fulfill the goals of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU in the area of Agriculture, and guaranteed that the regulation of the future CAP, in discussion, "provides for the continuity of support for collective public irrigation and efficient irrigation (at the farmer level), with 100% financing in collective structures, so that we can increase the ambition in terms of the efficient use of resources in the context of a model more focused on performance than policy compliance '.
In the context of climate change, irrigation is no longer just vital for farmers in southern European countries. The years of consecutive drought, between 2018 and 2020, generated huge losses in agricultural harvests in the countries of Scandinavia, Denmark and Germany. “Northern European countries no longer need only drainage, but also irrigation to guarantee the water necessary for the production of their agricultural crops and the maintenance of biodiversity in the soil. Due to the effects of climate change, we are facing a new and different perspective of water management in the EU, which must be considered and supported under the future CAP ”, warned Adriano Battilani, secretary general of Irrigants d'Europe and head of the association of irrigators ANBI-Associazione Nazionale Consorzi di Gestione and Tutela del Territorio and Acque Irrigue from Italy.
European irrigators will also present their irrigation priorities to the European Parliament, the European Commission, European organizations of farmers and the water industry, such as COPA / COGECA, EIA and EUWMA, as well as the respective Ministers of Agriculture and National parliaments.
Irrigants d’Europe is the European organization that brings together 75% of the irrigated area in Europe, 7.7 out of 10.2 million hectares of European irrigation. Its mission is to defend the interests of irrigation with European authorities. It is represented by the following organizations: FENAREG- National Federation of Regents; FENACORE - Federacion Nacional de las Communities de Regantes de España; ANBI - Associazione Nazionale Consorzi di Gestione and Tutela del Territorio e Acque Irrigue from Italy and Irrigants from France.
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