Producers of chestnuts in Ardèche will be able to benefit from compensation thanks to the recognition of the agricultural calamity situation, after the drought of 2017 which cut their harvest by 60%.
This recognition is valid on 159 communes of the center and the north of the department, announces the prefecture Monday. Farmers in the region, who are often both breeders and producers of chestnuts, have already obtained this status for fodder.
The 2017 harvest of chestnuts has reached barely 1,500 tons when it oscillates between 4 and 5,000 tons usually , the Ardèche ensuring half of the French production, according to the Syndicate of defense of the chestnut of Ardèche.
The castanéiculteurs will be indemnified at the level of 20 to 30% of their losses, indicates to AFP Daniel Vernol, president of the union
According to him, it is the worst memory harvest of castaneiculteur. For 2018, it is much too early to give a trend, even if the abundant rains have allowed the trees to restart with a sufficient supply of water.
The sector had already been confronted in recent years with cynips, small wasp coming from Asia, arrived in Ardèche in 2010, which weakens the trees by laying in their buds and can lead to their death.