The agricultural sector has been particularly hard hit by the credit crisis. FRANCE 24 takes a closer look and reports from Spain, where farmers are set to stage a strike this Friday in protest at plunging prices.
From Madrid, France 24 correspondent Sarah Morris explains the upcoming strike in Spain.
Spanish farmers say Spain's agricultural sector is in a state of bankruptcy, and have gone so far as to say that it’s the “worst crisis ever”. For the first time, the three main farmer’s unions have joined forces to call for a nationwide stoppage on November 20th, to be followed by a rally to protest the low producer prices that are forcing many of them out of business. They are urging the government to set up a rescue plan for the sector, and they want this package to include minimum prices indexed to costs.
According to official data, they have been squeezed by a 26-percent drop in real income between 2003 and 2008 and a hike in costs of 34.3 percent, which has added 124,000 to Spain's already growing dole queues. Farm-gate prices have also collapsed in the past year and now no longer cover estimated costs. Our reporters met Paco, a 61 year-old farmer, who's now selling at a loss.