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Ponta Delgada ,  November 14, 2018

More young people and diversification growth are important for sustainability of agriculture, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry defended on São Miguel that the increase in the number of young farmers and the growth of diversification are of paramount importance to ensure the sustainability for agriculture.
João Ponte visited today two farms in the municipality of Ponta Delgada, run by young farmers, pointing out the growth of 37% in diversification and the entry of many young people into the sector over the last four years.
"In the specific case of São Miguel, 33% percent of the 25 applications submitted for the installation of young farmers under PRORURAL+ concern the areas of horticulture and fruit growing," said the government official.
On the first day of the Regional Government's visit to São Miguel, the government official considered that these figures represent farmers' commitment to the so-called areas of agricultural diversification and their confidence in the sustainable future of the main sector of the regional economy.
During a visit to a pineapple farm in Fajã de Baixo, with an annual production of around 80 tonnes, the Regional Secretary stated that the Regional Government has supported producers by providing financial and technical tools.
Regarding POSEI, João Ponte stated that the Region proposed to the European Commission the exemption of all organic production areas up to 2,000 square metres from apportionment.
Moreover, the Region also proposed the granting of aid only to PDO producers so as to adjust all production according to the specifications for a fruit classified as PDO since 1996.
During his visit to a farm dedicated to horticulture in São Roque, João Ponte stated that this is a good example of agricultural entrepreneurship, highlighting the investment of 320 thousand Euros and the public expenditure of 176 thousand euros. The project was supported under PRORURAL+.
The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry also stressed that the Regional Government is preparing a series of strategic documents and plans that will greatly support agricultural diversification in the coming years. In this context, he pointed out, as example, the plan for the development of fruit growing, whose working group has already been appointed, the study on horticultural products, which is in the final phase, the strategic plan for organic production, which has already been completed, or the beekeeping plan, which will be ready by the end of 2018.
"We are preparing the future of agricultural diversification with a series of structuring measures that will later be implemented in policies that will allow farmers to look at diversification and consider where it is worth investing with return and income benefits," said João Ponte.


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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