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Ponta Delgada ,  February 07, 2017

Cooperation between production and distribution is essential for agricultural diversification, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated in Ponta Delgada that the cooperation strategies between producers and distribution are "a future investment in the growth and development of agricultural diversification in the Azores."
João Ponte spoke on the sidelines of a visit to the premises of INSCO- Insular de Hipermercados, where he met with the Board of Continente Açores Producers' Club. According to him, this is "a project of excellence that highlights the investment in the regional agricultural production."
The Continente Açores Producers' Club was established in 2011 with the aim of ensuring the continuous supply of quality regional products to the commercial areas owned by that business group.
In 2016, the regional vegetable production represented 54% of INSCO sales, while the regional fruit production reached 779 tonnes.
"The Government of the Azores welcomes this situation," João Ponte stressed, adding that "there is also a series of indicators that give confidence in the future of this area."
The government official mentioned the number of applications submitted in the area of horticulture and floriculture under the previous Community Support Framework (2017-2013), which represented 10% and involved a public expenditure of seven million Euros. Moreover, he pointed out the case of young farmers who wish to invest in vegetable and fruit growing, which accounted for 12% of first installations and amounted to 900 thousand Euros in premiums.
There are also signs of confidence arising under the current Community framework. In this regard, PRORURAL + is yielding very interesting results, either in the percentage of and investment intentions - 16% in this area, corresponding to a public expenditure of 1.3 million Euros - or in the number of young farmers who wish to invest in agricultural diversification. The latter grew from the last Community Framework, registering 17% of overall applications.
Over the last eight years, the sector of agricultural diversification has grown from 200 to 800 producers and the area of cultivated land has grown from 400 to 1,000 hectares.
"This is important because it is in line with the Azorean Government's strategy for agricultural diversification," said João Ponte.
"We know we have all the conditions in the Region to produce high-quality vegetables. As a result of this situation, there has been a very interesting reduction in the number of tonnes of imported vegetables over the last years," added the government official.
"There are signs that lead us to believe that we will have fewer imports in this sector in the future. There is still a path to follow, but I think it will be a path of success in the area of agricultural diversification," said the Secretary for Agriculture.
For the Regional Secretary, "this is extremely important for the development of the archipelago insofar as it reduces imports, increases local production and creates jobs, which is vital to the agricultural sector and to the regional economy."


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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