The Valais parliament looks at its viticulture

The Valais parliament looks at its viticulture
The Valais parliament looks at its viticulture

Valais wants to modernize its vineyards in order to improve its profitability and development. The “Vineyard of the 21st century” project at 170 million, including 53 million to be borne by the canton, is on the menu of the Grand Council this week which is deciding both on this framework credit and on a modification of the agricultural law.

In recent years after episodes of frost or even mildew, the Council of State has come with “plasters on wooden legs” to support the branch, State Councilor Christophe Darbellay told the cantonal parliament on Monday. “But you have regularly criticized us for not presenting a long-term vision for the future of viticulture. Here it is.”

Concretely, production measures aim to support the renewal of plant capital, the implementation of drip irrigation systems and the improvement of access to plots. Land measures rely on plot rearrangements to create “rational operating entities” with a surface area of ​​at least 3000 m2.

“Adapted vineyard”

The overall bill for the project amounts to 170 million francs. This sum is made up of 53 million cantonal subsidies, 8 million federal subsidies and 80 million investment credits. The municipalities will contribute 13 million francs and 16.5 million francs are the responsibility of the branch.

“It may not seem like much, it may seem like a lot. It corresponds in proportion to what we have invested over the last twenty years to redo, for example, the Valais orchard,” explained Christophe Darbellay. With this project, we are giving “a working instrument to this generation of professionals who will make the vineyard of tomorrow”, that is to say a vineyard adapted to the challenges of the future, whether economic, environmental, or related. with the next generation which is sometimes lacking in viticulture.

The funds will be allocated to projects submitted by cellars or wine growers, noted Christophe Darbellay. A support ceiling is set at 100,000 francs per year, per farm in order to ensure the distribution of support.

“Ambitious project”

“The PLR ​​supports this project, but wants to make changes to it, because we believe that the law is too unclear on the conditions for benefiting from this program,” the training said. “It is an ambitious project” which will bring “a certain sustainability” in the long term, estimated the Center of French-speaking Valais.

But for it to deploy its effects, “it will be necessary to attack, in the short term, the current income of the winegrower, i.e. the grape and wine market. Otherwise the 53 million risk remaining in the cantonal coffers. And the “The project will hardly go further than the political debate,” he adds.

The Vert-es group welcomes the project, but would however have liked the creation of a cantonal law dedicated to viticulture rather than two articles in the law on agriculture. He also considers it “damaging” that the legislative modification does not include any clear provision as to the objectives, makes no reference to agri-food analysis and lacks a clear vision on the question of the evolution of the vineyard area which includes the problem of abandoned vines.

Desired exceptions

On the side of the German-speaking SVP and Center, we note the importance of clearly including exceptions in the law for plots with specific hilly and structural topographical conditions. The support of the UDC of Haut-Valais will depend on this measure, she said.

There are steeply sloping vineyards throughout the cantonal territory, underlined Christophe Darbellay. “If it can reassure you, we will pass certain exceptions from the ordinance to the law, but we do not want to distort the project,” he indicated, recalling that the problem of plots is the biggest problem in viticulture Valais.

The largest in Switzerland, the Valais vineyard with its 4,675 hectares is also currently divided into some 75 thousand plots and more than twenty thousand owners.

The Swiss drink less

The PS also wondered whether the measures will be sufficient to effectively support the sector and whether many winegrowers will participate. “We think that a lot of work, conviction and explanation is still needed,” estimates the group, which also wonders whether the project sufficiently takes into account the changes in consumption of the Swiss population which drinks less wine.

No group opposed the introduction which was accepted by 122 votes to 1. The project, which will be debated on Wednesday, should therefore, barring any surprises, pass the ramp.

This article was automatically published. Source: ats

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