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Vila do Porto ,  May 10, 2019

Investing in improvement of agricultural infrastructures fosters Santa Maria's economic development, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated on Santa Maria that agriculture is of great importance for the island's economy, thus the investment in the improvement of agricultural infrastructures is fully justified while contributing to the development and local progress.
"Similarly to other islands, the Government will continue to firmly invest in the modernisation of agricultural infrastructures on Santa Maria, given the importance of this sector to the island's economy, to create jobs and generate wealth," said João Ponte. He spoke at the opening of the improvement works of Saibreiro Rural Road.
João Ponte pointed out that this work under the supervision of the Regional Directorate for Forest Resources, covering an overall extension of 750 metres, benefits 18 hectares of pastures and almost a dozen farmers. It was carried out by direct management, corresponding to an investment of 63 thousand Euros, including equipment and labour.
"With this public investment at the service of farmers, we are creating better working conditions, reducing production costs, fostering the competitiveness of the sector and strengthening our ability to face successive challenges," said João Ponte. On the occasion, he added the Regional Government contributes to the sustainability of farms and leverages the local economy, which is a factor of territorial and social cohesion in the archipelago.
The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry also visited the works of the Cardal water reservoir and attended the presentation session of the project for the construction of a dam in Ribeira do Aveiro stream. In this regard, he stressed that the Government's concern with water supply on the island of Santa Maria is not something new and we are working in coordination with Vila do Porto Town Council to achieve this goal.
"Since 2005, the Government, through IROA - Regional Institute of Agrarian Planning, has invested more than 2.5 million Euros in the abstraction, storage and distribution of water for agriculture on the island of Santa Maria," said João Ponte. As he also revealed, there are "investments amounting to 170 thousand Euros in progress for the reinforcement of water supply in agriculture and the development of studies and action plans that will define the island's investment needs in the next decade
João Ponte also mentioned that the gross revenue of meat production registered by Santa Maria farmers in 2018, considering the aid granted under POSEI and PRORURAL +, stood at 3.7 million Euros, a very significant amount for the local economy.
"These figures clearly demonstrate the importance of the agricultural sector for Santa Maria Island. They encourage the Government, associations, cooperatives and farmers to continue working in a coordinated manner so that the sector can boost its competitiveness and, subsequently, the income of entire value chain," said João Ponte. In this context, he revealed that "over the last two years, 600 animals/year were slaughtered on this island and 1,600 live animals/year were exported."


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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