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Lisbon ,  March 19, 2019

Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands advocate CAP reform that responds to the challenges of agriculture in Outermost Regions

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated in Lisbon that a joint declaration will be soon signed by the Governments of the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. It will contain specific proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the post-2020 period in order to respond the challenges of agriculture in Outermost Regions.
 
"We have maintained close and effective contacts in order to coordinate and define a common position on the CAP reform as it concerns common matters with implications for the three Outermost Regions," said João Ponte. The government official spoke at the end of a meeting with the Deputy Councillor of the Primary Sector, Abel Morales, and the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries of the Government of Madeira, Humberto Vasconcelos.
 
João Ponte added that the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands defend that budget appropriations under POSEI programme should be maintained or even adjusted to address the current and future challenges of agricultural production in Outermost Regions.
 
"When the European Commission foresees a 3.9% cut in POSEI funds, it does not take into account the specificities of Outermost Regions. Reducing financing will reduce production with the added danger of leading to farm abandonment, given producers' difficulties to achieve a level of competitiveness similar to that in Mainland Portugal," said the government official.
 
Due to specificities such as geography, terrain, small-sized farms and distance from markets, João Ponte considered that the allocation of support under EAFRD should maintain a maximum contribution rate of 85%.
 
João Ponte stated that Outermost Regions also demand the exemption of requirements on good agricultural and environmental conditions in their territories, which is provided for under the regulation of Strategic Plans and concern crop rotation.
 
Regarding the 15% cut in the second pillar of CAP, proposed by the European Commission, João Ponte stated that this is worrisome, considering the importance of these funds for the implementation of environmental and investment measures as they contribute to improving the sector's competitiveness and protecting the environment.
 
"It is imperative that the budget allocated to Outermost Regions under the second pillar of CAP be, at least, equal to the current Community framework," stressed João Ponte. According to him, the three regions also defend a "smooth transition period between frameworks" to fulfil the commitments already made and make new ones, thus avoiding a breach in the aid to farmers.
 
João Ponte stressed that Outermost Regions should have their own Strategic Plans in order to establish specific rural development programmes for regions, comprising a series of measures that meet their actual needs and peculiarities." The government official also emphasised the relevance of reintroducing measures to encourage the early retirement of farmers and, consequently, promote the generational renewal of the sector.


GaCS/RM
 
 
 
 
 
   
 

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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