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Portugal - 100 pct crop losses in Lamego region due to weekend hailstorms

The mayor of Lamego has said that “there are 100% crop losses” in the county, with damage of “enormous severity”, which is being evaluated, due to this weekend’s hailstorm.

“Parishes in the vineyard and orchard areas, such as Cambres, Sande and the town of Lamego, Várzea de Abrunhais, Britiande and Valdigem, mainly on Sunday, suffered extremely serious damage, with several situations of 100% crop damage,” the mayor of Lamego, Angelo Moura, told Lusa news agency on Monday.

“There were situations of damage to infrastructures”, but what “is of greater concern and where the damage is greater are the vineyards and orchards of various fruits”, stressed the mayor.

“There are also new plantations that suffered serious damage and that, although they were treated immediately, only the next few days will reveal the real damage and to what extent the damage was done to plants and whether or not next years’ harvests are compromised,” he explained.

We are talking about damages and losses that only time will be able to recover and, although there are no accounts yet made, we are talking about tens of thousands of euros.

Ângelo Moura referred that there are properties with “dozens of hectares with total loss”, both of vines and orchards, although the “actual damage, only with the passing of days, will be accounted for”.

In any case, for now, “we can talk of tens of thousands of euros”, he said.

The mayor, at the request of some producers and farmers’ associations, met early on Monday afternoon with the Regional Director of Agriculture of the North, Carla Alves Pereira, a meeting that was also attended by the mayors of the most affected parishes.

“Some answers were given to the concerns raised and we tried to motivate farmers for future prevention, regarding orchards, with the placement of protective netting,” he said.

The producers learnt that, at the moment, “an application is open to make this investment” in protection nets, and a “request for an extension of the application deadline” was also “accepted”, he added.

“There is also a possible reinforcement of funds, should it be necessary, in a simplified process, without bureaucratic requirements and with 100% non-refundable support of 18,000 euros per hectare, which farmers can apply for and which will be the subject of a rapid response by the regional directorate,” he promised.

Crop insurance, “little publicised and which should be publicised in the fruit-growing area” was another issue on the table as it “has to be rethought because the value of the premium to be paid is high”.

“The regional director also made a commitment to find solutions for those [producers] who will be in a situation of non-compliance with the defined financial targets, namely young farmers,” Ângelo Moura said.

The hail in the Lamego region, according to the mayor, began to fall on Friday, but “it was on Sunday that most of the damage occurred.

Source –