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Brussels ,  April 08, 2019

Regional Government want to introduce amendments to POSEI 2020 to restructure milk production and improve farm efficiency

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated in Brussels that the Regional Government intends to introduce changes to POSEI 2020 with a view to restructuring milk production and improving the efficiency of farms on the islands of São Miguel, Terceira and Graciosa.
 
"With these measures, which are optional, the Government intends to adjust the number of animals in dairy farms without penalties for farmers in terms of next year's POSEI aid," said João Ponte. He spoke on the sidelines of a meeting with the Head of the POSEI Unit, Bruno Chauvin, which was also attended by the President of the Azores Agricultural Federation, Jorge Rita.
 
João Ponte also stated that a certain percentage of the aid to milk production will be directed to meat production on the islands of São Miguel, Terceira and Graciosa.
 
"These proposals are intended to discourage the intensification of milk production," said João Ponte. In this regard, he added that these and other amendment proposals to be submitted to the European Commission stem from the dialogue and coordination between the Regional Government and the Azores Agricultural Federation.
 
The Secretary for Agriculture pointed out that the regional milk sector is faced with substantially lower prices than those paid in Mainland Portugal and other European countries. This situation is due to market oscillations deriving from the absence of regulatory mechanisms for production since the dismantling of milk quotas in 2015.
 
For the Regional Secretary, the Programme of Options Specifically Relating to Remoteness and Insularity of Outermost Regions (POSEI) is an essential tool to support the maintenance, diversification and promotion of agriculture in the Azores, being one of the most important economic activities of the archipelago.
 
During his visit to Brussels, João Ponte also met with the Advisor to the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Kevin Keary. The meeting, also attended by Jorge Rita, addressed the main concerns and the regional position on some aspects regarding the Commission's proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the post-2020 period.
 
"During his visit to the Azores in 2018, European Commissioner Phil Hogan publicly assumed the commitment to maintain the current POSEI funding between 2021 and 2027. Last week, the Committee on Agricultural Affairs of the European Parliament voted for the maintenance of this budget.  These positions are in line with the Azorean position, which defends that the POSEI programme should maintain, at least, the current budget or, preferably, increase funds in order to continue the development of the agricultural sector," said João Ponte.
 
The memorandum delivered to the EU official states that the Azores disagree with the cuts in the budget appropriations for Outermost Regions in the next Rural Development Programme, defending that the current co-financing rate of 15% should be maintained for these regions. Furthermore, the Region defends the existence of Regional Strategic Plans that take into account the specific context of regions, instead of a single strategic CAP plan per Member State.
 
"The Regional Government emphasises, once again, the need to ensure a smooth transition between frameworks with clear rules to secure the commitments already made and the possibility of making new ones, so as to ensure that there is no gap in the aid to potential beneficiaries," said João Ponte. On the occasion, he added that the creation of a measure on the early retirement of farmers is important for the Azores so that the Commission's goal towards the rejuvenation of the sector may be achieved.


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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