SPANISH farmers are warning that the fig industry could collapse after environment ministers refused to approve the use of a chemical which aids production.

Hydrogen cinnamide is used to protect the crop from adverse weather and is already widely employed in Portugal.

But the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment has blocked its use in Spain, providing only ‘evasive answers’ by way of explanation.

“What we need are politicians able to provide solutions to the problems people are facing,” said Alicante farmers’ union leader Eladio Aniorte.

“There is no other substitute to hydrogen cinnamide and it is vital to get proper development of the fig tree.”

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