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Ponta Delgada ,  July 24, 2019

Regional Government joins international project to improve competitiveness of agricultural and craft markets

The Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry, through the Regional Directorate for Agriculture, has signed a cooperation agreement with entities from Madeira, Canary Islands and Senegal with a view to implementing the “Mercamarkt” project. It is intended to improve the competitiveness of agricultural markets as well as to boost sales of local products.
This project, which takes place under the Territorial Cooperation Programme - INTERREG VA, has as its main goal to rethink the concept of agricultural markets through research, participation and cooperation. It provides for the creation of a competitiveness directed to markets and producers, improving the marketing of local products.
With an approved implementation period until 2022, this international project has a global budget of 1.3 million Euros and a total of 12 partners, namely Municipalities and other public entities from the Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Senegal.
The Regional Directorate for Agriculture and the Vila Franca do Campo Municipal Council, from São Miguel Island, participate as partners representing the Azores.
This project includes various activities: the analysis of market demand and supply, the economic, environmental and social impact of these areas, the definition of a programme for the modernisation of agricultural and craft markets, and the allocation of support to producers, through technical and commercial assistance.
Moreover, the plan also provides for the implementation of marketing strategies in markets as well as for the organisation of initiatives to promote and stimulate the activity of municipal agricultural spaces, such as fairs for the promotion of local products, cooking demonstrations using local products or campaigns at schools to acknowledge farmers' role in producing food. The maintenance of agroecosystems and the promotion of the so-called “ugly fruit,” i.e., the fruit rejected for sale due to its less appealing appearance, but with the same quality, are also other goals of this project.
For example, the Regional Directorate for Agriculture intends to move forward with advertising campaigns, leaflets, outdoors, training workshops for farmers on subtropical fruit growing and tastings of local products such as bananas, passion fruit, pineapple, wine, tea and jam in large commercial establishments inside and outside the Azores.


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