PCP was today in the parish of Jardim da Serra, contacting the population and farmers to address the brutal loss of cherry production in that location as a result of the negative impacts caused by extreme and negative weather conditions for that production.

Cherry cultivation is one of the most important productions in the parish of Jardim da Serra and, according to the producers heard by the PCP, for this year, production losses are estimated between 80 and 90% of the production considered normal.

The cherry growers in this parish expressed their concern to the PCP as to what will bring about the sharp drop in production, as a result of the weather conditions that have been felt since the beginning of 2020.

“In Jardim da Serra the productive activity of cherry is of significant importance as a source of income for many of the families. The fall in production will thus cause high losses to the local and regional economy”, says the party, who adds that “this adverse situation creates predictable disruptions in the economic and social fabric and poses strong threats to the economic livelihoods of many rural families in this Autonomous Region.”

It also stresses that the vast majority of those farmers do not have the conditions required for anyone wishing to insure crops, also considering that cherry and sour cherry producers in Madeira are, for the most part, conditioned by small agriculture and experience weaknesses typical of the universe of micro and small farmers.

Producers fear that if there is no extraordinary support for the sector in order to compensate for production losses, the income of many families may be at stake, as well as the ability to guarantee the necessary investments for the productions of the coming years.

The PCP considers it essential that the Regional Government proceeds, through the competent services, to survey the extent of the drop in cherry and sour cherry production in each of the producers and in each of the localities and that the Regional Government adopts an extraordinary program to support the cherry and cherry farmers / producers, so that supplementary public support is guaranteed to guarantee levels of income and production potential for years to come.

The PCP, through its deputy Ricardo Lume, will request the holding of a parliamentary hearing, with the presence of the regional secretary of Agriculture in order to ascertain what extraordinary measures the Regional Government intends to take to respond to cherry and sour cherry producers as well as listen to the representative associations of farmers to ascertain the real impacts of the fall in cherry and sour cherry production in the Region.

From JM