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Ribeira Grande ,  July 17, 2019

Commitment to innovation is essential to increase efficiency and competitiveness of dairy farms, says Regional Director for Agriculture

The Regional Director for Agriculture, José Élio Ventura, stated on São Miguel Island that the implementation of innovative measures in the milk sector, as recommended by the "Dairy 4 Future" European project, which the Azores have joined, is an essential component to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of dairy farms.
"In practice, this project will involve several pilot farms on the islands of São Miguel and Terceira, providing an exchange of knowledge and experiences with European counterparts. It is expected to contribute to increased efficiency and competitiveness of other farms linked to the sector through transfer of innovative practices," said José Élio Ventura. According to him, this project is an important experience for the Azores given the relevance of the dairy sector in the Region.
The Regional Director for Agriculture spoke at the conference "Promoting Innovations for a More Resilient Milk Sector in the Atlantic Area" under the Diary 4 Future Project. The event took place Tuesday evening at the premises of São Miguel Agricultural Association in the municipality of Ribeira Grande, involving dairy farms from 7 European countries and 12 regions.
The Regional Director emphasised the scope of the associated partners and producers, who account for more than 20 % of the total milk produced in the European Union. This data itself gives credibility to the 4-year project, reinforcing the interest of the Azores' participation.
Besides fostering greater cooperation among all partners, José Élio Ventura stressed that this European project will make comparisons possible and stimulate the exchange of knowledge. It will foster a more efficient use of resources such as water, energy or food, but also implement differentiation strategies, adding value to production and reducing the environmental footprint.
In his speech, the government official highlighted the positive path of milk production in the Azores arising from the strategy implemented by the Regional Government in partnership with producers' organisations. This is also the result of the efforts and professionalism of different generations of farmers who have invested in the modernisation, genetics and efficiency of their farms.
Under the current Community Support Framework, almost 900 applications for farm modernisation were submitted, representing an investment of 75 million Euros, and 211 applications for first installations were submitted, an overall support amounting to 7 million Euros. These indicators evidence the capabilities and the future sustainability of this sector in the Azores.
However, Élio Ventura acknowledged the importance of continuing the efforts to reduce the difference in the price of milk paid in the Azores, compared to the rest of the country and the rest of European Union countries.
"It is desirable that these differences be minimised, but in fact these price differences have always existed, even in periods before the end of milk quotas," said the Regional Director for Agriculture.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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