Concerns raised over raisin production

EL BORGE, a community which can hold claim to being Axarquía’s capital of Muscat raisin production, is demanding a rise in agricultural subsidies for help in producing the dried fruit.

More than 3,000 families in the area dedicate their lives to the tough and demanding work of collecting the grapes and drying them in the hot sun, all the while facing a reduction in agricultural subsidies of more than a third.

Thanks to changes in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the 100-year-old tradition of Muscat grape production is becoming less and less profitable.

In an effort to combat these changes and promote raisin production, last Sunday saw the 19th edition of ‘Raisin Day’ (el Día de la Pasa) in the small community of El Borge.

Despite a bad harvest, in which producers saw a fall of between 50 and 75 per cent of their crop in respect to 2013 (barely 200 tonnes overall), more than 10,000 people turned up at the festival to sample the little sun-dried gems.

El Borge’s Mayor, Salvador Fernández of the socialist party, has called for a fair price to be set for the Muscat raisin. He also called on the government to protect the local producers from the CAP, which is driving the Muscat raisin to extinction.

The day was not just about politics, however, and a wide variety of traditional music, flamenco dancing and other cultural activities took place in the Plaza de la Constitución until 9pm.

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