The program of talks for the 50th anniversary of the company Prada A Tope addressed rural entrepreneurship on Monday with businessmen closely linked to their territories, who were able to talk about their success experiences with students from five educational centers in the region of Bierzo. The speakers have highlighted that the commitment to return to the town to start a productive activity linked to the endogenous resources of each area is a powerful tool in the fight against depopulation and constitutes "the social revolution of the 21st century".
With these words, Aída Rodrigo, manager of Ganadería Omañacea, in Murias de Paredes (León), has defined the trend. “I am one of those who has returned to the town with the plus of the knowledge acquired,” explained this lawyer by training, who ran the family hotel until the arrival of the pandemic. It was then that she opted for the extensive livestock sector, through a shared ownership operation, a legal figure that was legislated during the time that Aída served as a lawyer for the socialist group in the Congress of Deputies, during the mandates of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Today, his company deals with the direct sale of beef to the consumer through its own website.
Nuria Álvarez, owner of Agroberry, a company located in Almendra (Zamora), where it has an ecological plantation of blackberries and a workshop in which the transformation into products such as jam and liqueur, which is carried out, also participated in the talks. then they are sold in the store. "There have always been resources in the towns, but we must help settle the population," said Álvarez, who stressed that training is key to being able to "give value to the rural environment with new perspectives."
Along the same lines, the president of the Corullón Agro-Food Association, Begoña Bello, stressed that "rural entrepreneurship is in fashion" and assessed that "before people left the villages to make a living, today young people they form to return to the town and show that you can live here and work as you like». She preaching by her example, after obtaining her master's degree in agri-food, she returned to the town where she was born and grew up to dedicate herself professionally to beekeeping. She now presides over an association of 26 small cherry and chestnut producers and defends a commitment to "follow the tradition of the grandparents."
Finally, Armando García, managing director of the Virrey Palafox companies, in El Burgo de Osma (Soria), has contributed his experience in the field of hospitality in a rural environment of some 5,000 inhabitants, hand in hand with a family business with almost 50 years of experience. In his talk, García defended the "commitment to the territory" of the different generations that have taken over the company over the years and the maintenance of a successful model despite successive renewals. "We must give people facilities to return to the town and it is not convenient to blame everything on the institutions, because they are slow and quite stupid animals," he considered.
The presentations were attended by students from the La Inmaculada and San Ignacio de Ponferrada schools, as well as the IES Bergidum de Cacabelos, the IES Padre Sarmiento de Villafranca del Bierzo and the Integrated Center for Vocational Training (FP) of the capital of Berciana.