The holding of the forum “Consequences of harassment in the countryside: fresh food only for the rich” in La Razón has served to announce the actions that the SOS Rural platform is carrying out in its purpose of uniting the countryside and bringing its voice wherever it is found. they make the decisions. The first, from this week, is the presentation in Congress of a Legislative Initiative to protect by law the economic activity of a primary sector “without prejudice to the powers transferred to the Autonomous Communities, but that serves to protect the activities and economy of the rural world,” said Natalia Corbalán, general spokesperson for the platform.
The ILP proposes, among other measures, the priority use of agricultural land for food production. «The current policies of harassment of agricultural activity cause producers to give up, who sell off or hand over the most valuable thing, the land, to the lobbies that are “tiling” the field of solar panels. These businesses do enjoy all kinds of public incentives, and they are hoarding land, even in natural areas of great value, which will be unused for traditional uses,” they say from SOS Rural.
Another of the requests that makes up the ILP is the protection of irrigation, as well as access to livestock inputs at reasonable prices and the protection of fishing activity. It also advocates the essential access of rural communities to basic services such as those available in urban areas –digitalization, for example, or the financing of infrastructure–, in order to promote the anchoring of economic activity in these regions and even the installation of new businesses.
Regarding water, a stable supply is requested for all territories with the execution of an updated hydrological model. «There are solutions known to everyone, solutions that would contribute to guaranteeing stable and accessible prices of fresh products from our fields for all families, the food sovereignty of Spain and the containment of the frustrating and very sad disappearance of all forms of life and activity of towns and entire regions,” comments the organization. The next step is to gather the 500,000 signatures needed for the ILP to be considered by Congress.
But it is not the only action they are carrying out. As Natalia Corbalán detailed: «On January 24, the European Commission notified us that it has accepted the registration of the European Citizens’ Initiative which we presented in December. This is an action that the Spanish countryside has never undertaken before. There is included what we request, which is nothing more than a comprehensive regulatory framework that protects the activities and economy of the rural world. Signatures are beginning to be collected for this pan-European movement that aims to unite the 27 member countries that suffer the same as Spain. From there we will begin to make ourselves heard where the game is being played, which is in Brussels, because we all know that if you don’t sit at the table you are part of the menu and that has happened to agriculture. However, we believe that this can be reversed by working seriously on a plan, prepared with honesty and with the countryside, because farmers and ranchers cannot be removed from the food equation. “That’s shooting ourselves in the head as a society.”
During the debate the question also arose: “Can it happen like in Holland where the agrarian protest movement ended up materializing into a political party?” The truth is that although the spokesperson for SOS Rural commented on the good reception and interest that the platform is having, “we want to be a firm, civil and popular social movement, that is representative and that is heard. Is about that agriculture communicates how it does things and start talking to society, because a rupture has been created between the urban and rural world and that is lethal. Policies have for many years pitted farmers and ranchers against the environment when they are an inherent part of the environment. You can’t exclude them. A nature has been designed where everything that smells productive gets in the way, but we have to produce every day because we eat three times. SOS Rural wants to carry out this work as a professional movement. “Either the primary sector works together and with conviction or it will disappear in fifteen years,” he says.