NEW’S | Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development ensures greater agricultural diversification in the Region
The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development, António Ventura, ensured in Ribeira Grande that there will be greater “agricultural diversification” in the Region in the coming years, whether in fruit and vegetable production or in beekeeping and viticulture.
After a meeting with the Azores Agricultural Federation that sought to assess and analyse the regional agricultural policy, António Ventura stressed that this is the “basic and fundamental sector of the Azores, which is able to generate wealth and maintain people on their islands, thus combating ageing and depopulation.”
According to António Ventura, the Azores Agricultural Federation presented a set of proposals for amendments to POSEI which, “after being technically developed” by the Government, were submitted to and “approved by the European Commission.”
In this regard, the POSEI programme “will be more developed and more diversified, comprising more crops.”
“Farmers, through the Azores Agricultural Federation, have encouraged and presented broad lines of action for all sectors of activity, from diversification to the main sectors, such as milk and meat,” he said.
“The Region is currently producing more fruit and more vegetables,” António Ventura said, pointing out a “successful path followed” by the Azores in this field, while the region becomes “less dependent on imports.”
“In fact, POSEI has this purpose of helping local production,” he said, stressing that “a Region is rich if it produces food.”
Regarding the PEPAC programme, the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development hopes that the programme’s strategy will be implemented “as soon as possible” at a national level, so that “applications may open” in the Azores.
António Ventura stressed, in this regard, that farmers “have the will to invest,” but “it is necessary” that the funds of this Strategic Programme of the Common Agricultural Policy become available.
POSEI has an allocation of about 80 million Euros and the PEPAC programme 2023-2027 has an envelope (EU funds) of about 196 million Euros.