SPAIN: The Undersecretariat of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of the autonomous government of Andalusia has opened this year a second call for aid to support marine aquaculture projects in Andalusia.
The new order places, in competitive bidding system, EUR 9.3 million at the service of the sustainable development of this activity, for which a line endowed with EUR 10.6 million was already articulated at the beginning of the year (and until February 15).
The deadline for submitting applications, on this occasion, will remain open, as recorded in the Official Gazette of the autonomous region of Andalucía (BOJA), until May 25.
These incentives, framed within the 2014-2020 operational program of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), are intended to support productive investments in the aquaculture sector. The aid, which opens the door to the acquisition of multi-year commitments, is divided into two budget items, one for the year 2018, of EUR 4.4 million, and another for the 2019 year, of EUR 4.9 million. These are projects, in short, that can be performed over two years and that are linked to the Andalusian Strategy for the 2014-2020 Development of Marine Aquaculture.
As indicated by Undersecretary of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development Rodrigo Sánchez Haro, these grants will deepen the sustainability of the activity in all its aspects from the environmental and economic point of view, based on a model based on innovation, competitiveness and knowledge.
Specifically, it seeks to encourage the implementation of productive initiatives in aquaculture, with special attention to the diversification of aquaculture production and farmed species; the modernization of the aquaculture centres (without obviating the improvement of working and safety conditions of the workers) or the improvement and modernization related to the health and welfare of the animals (including the acquisition of equipment to protect the farms of the wild predators). All this, without forgetting the improvement of the quality of the aquaculture product and the increase of its value; the recovery of ponds or aquaculture lagoons through the elimination of sludge or the prevention of their deposits; and the diversification of the income of aquaculture companies with the development of complementary activities.
The Undersecretariat stressed that one of the purposes of this aid is also the "inalienable" incorporation of women to economic activity in areas of Andalusia linked to the aquaculture sector. Thus, the Undersecretariat of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development takes a further step towards meeting the objectives of the I Plan for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men in the Agri-Food and Fishing Activity of Andalusia, approved in January 2017 by the Government council.