drought, skyrocketing prices and shortages

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The problems for the primary sector have not stopped happening since the beginning of the inflationary escalation and the war in Ukraine began to put stones in its path at the beginning of this year. Farmers and ranchers have been facing during the first months of 2022 an increase in the prices of grains, fertilizers, electricity and fuels, to which another major obstacle is now added: the drought.

too little water. This summer is being one of the hottest on record, which, added to the lack of rain (Spain accumulates a rainfall deficit of 30%, according to the hydrological bulletin of the Ministry for Ecological Transition), is leading to crop failures and less and less pasture available to feed livestock.

In many municipalities in Spain, the water supply is limited, which leads, inevitably, to being able to maintain fewer crops since those that continue to produce less. According to José Roales, president of the Provincial Agrarian Chamber of Zamora, this situation has led to 70% less harvest in 2022 than in a normal year, As he explained in an interview for Spanish Television.

This decrease in agricultural production due to the drought, moreover, not only affects the amount of vegetable food available for human consumption, but also the available meat. As the price of grain to feed livestock increases, and given the low profit margins that the sector already had before this new problem, many farms are accelerating the slaughter of animals to reduce their costs, as explained by El Español. This will mean that fewer copies are available for consumption in the medium term.

Increased costs. Before the drought arrived, the primary sector was already being punished by the consequences of the war in Ukraine and the inflation that shakes Western countries. The sanctions of Europe and the United States against Russia for its warlike aggression have cut off or hindered the supply of fertilizers, feed and cereals, which has caused the price of these essential products for agriculture and livestock to increase considerably. In fact, Roales assured Spanish Television that the costs of mineral fertilizers to produce food have increased between 70 and 80%.

Likewise, farmers and ranchers have also been affected by the increase in fuel, electricity and gas. The Union of Small Farmers (UPA) of Andalusia denounced at the end of June that the price of agricultural diesel had increased by 89% compared to last year, the considerable increase in the cost of electricity is well known by any Spaniard and that of gas, in addition to affecting the price of the latter, it particularly damages the countryside: it is one of the essential elements to manufacture fertilizers.

supply problems. All these problems could not only lead to an even higher increase in prices for the consumer, but there is also the possibility that there will also be problems with the supply of certain agricultural and livestock products in the medium term, due both to the reduction in harvests as well as livestock farms.

Image | Paul Rodriguez

The problems for the primary sector have not stopped happening since the beginning of the inflationary escalation and the war…

The problems for the primary sector have not stopped happening since the beginning of the inflationary escalation and the war…

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