Farmers drive 1500 tractors into central Madrid to fight for the future of Spain’s dying agriculture industry

Author: Leah Pattem / Photos: Isabel Salcedo

Spain, as per EU regulation, allows imports of the very foods it prohibits Spanish farmers from producing. Unable to compete with ‘one rule for us, another rule for them’ style deregulation, farmers are therefore forced to sell their produce at a fraction of their costs, and subsidies aren’t enough to keep farms going.

With an average age of 63 in the agriculture industry, Spain is looking at the last generation of farmers and, therefore, our last generation of Spanish produce. The country is facing the very real possibility of losing an entire industry as farmers literally die off, with almost no youngsters to replace them.

In response, on Wednesday 21 February, 4000 farmers and around 1500 tractors which started their journey days ago in all corners of Spain rolled into central Madrid to protest outside the Ministry of Agriculture.

The authorities attempted to block the farmers at various stages. Just metres away from the Ministry of Agriculture, police were met with resistance from frontline protestors. Police did, however, stop 700 tractors from arriving at the Ministry of Agriculture by forcing them to a standstill on arterial roads just metres from their final destination. The council also turned off traffic cameras all around the city to prevent the press being able to track the tractorada’s movements.

Watch the video here.


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