` Farmers Help Fight Coronavirus in Spain - Olive Oil Times

Farmers Help Fight Coronavirus in Spain

Mar. 21, 2020
Costas Vasilopoulos

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The dra­matic effect of the novel coro­n­avirus in Spain, hav­ing claimed more than 1,300 human lives at the time of writ­ing, has Spanish farm­ers hit­ting the streets again — not to protest, but to help with their trac­tors and equip­ment con­tain the spread of the pan­demic, said Asaja, the Young Farmers Agrarian Association.

Farmers in many areas of the coun­try, work­ing together with the local author­i­ties, loaded their trac­tor tanks with dis­in­fec­tant solu­tion (water and hypochlo­rite) and started sprin­kling streets, squares, parks, and other pub­lic places.

Farmers and ranch­ers are not obliv­i­ous to the dif­fi­cult times that all of soci­ety is going through and we want to con­tribute our grain of sand. We will go where we are needed to fight this virus that has affected us all,” Pere Roque, pres­i­dent of Asaja-Lérida, stated.

With trac­tors and atom­iz­ers, it is intended to stop the spread of the virus, since the use of this type of machin­ery is much more effi­cient than the treat­ment car­ried out [by hand],” he added.

Meanwhile, the restric­tions in Spain due to the par­tial lock­down of the coun­try have made day-to-day com­mut­ing hard for agri­cul­tural and plant work­ers.

As Emilio Terrón, the sec­re­tary for agri­cul­ture and fruit and veg­etable han­dling of the UGT-FICA asso­ci­a­tion explained, land work­ers and those work­ing in han­dling facil­i­ties of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts used to share one vehi­cle with co-work­ers to move, but the new mea­sures require that each vehi­cle car­ries only one per­son (the dri­ver) to pre­vent any spread­ing of the virus, pos­ing a seri­ous chal­lenge to most of the work­ers who lack a dri­ving license or a car of their own.

Furthermore, Terrón said that some work­ers reported to UGT-FICA that their employ­ers have threat­ened them with a vol­un­tary with­drawal” sta­tus in case they miss work due to traf­fic lim­i­ta­tions.

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