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Ponta Delgada ,  July 15, 2019

Regional coffee and yam producers should make full use of available aid, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forests, João Ponte, stated that regional coffee and yam producers already have at their disposal a range of support measures at various levels, which should be used to their full potential before any new aid is created.
"From the Regional Government's standpoint, it makes no sense at this stage to extend the existing support system to these two crops, seeing that the existing aid is not being fully used by producers," said João Ponte.
The government official was heard last Thursday at the Committee on Economic Affairs on the proposal submitted by CDS/PP for the establishment of specific support for the recovery, production and marketing of yams and coffee on the island of São Jorge. On the occasion, he highlighted that the incentives for the maintenance of traditional landscapes, approved by Regional Implementing Decree 24/2014, provide for the allocation of 1,500 Euros per hectare according to the area concerned. However, there is no record of applications by São Jorge producers.
In turn, producers can apply for POSEI aid per hectare, set at 1,400 Euros for coffee and 1,150 Euros for yams. Moreover, the co-financing of investment projects is also a possibility under the PRORURAL+ programme at a rate ranging from 65 to 75 %.
Despite the growing recognition and production potential of quality coffee in Fajã dos Vimes on the island of São Jorge, João Ponte stressed that only one producer declared 0.14 hectares of production area, when estimates indicate an area of 1.5 hectares.
"Coffee production has shown great development potential in the Azores and even though it has achieved significant relevance in the "fajãs" of São Jorge, the fact is that this crop has gained prominence in other type of territory, as it is the case of Terceira Island," noted João Ponte. According to him, 4.2 hectares of production were declared last year on Terceira Island, twice as high as in 2017. Currently, there are 163 producers.
For the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry, the recent announcement of a partnership between Delta and the Association of Azorean Coffee Producers is an important contribution to promote the marketing of Azorean production given the range of skills and knowledge held by Delta in this area. This company will conduct a study to assess the potential of Azorean coffee.
João Ponte also pointed out that the Regional Government has been supporting the Association of Azorean Coffee Producers, namely in terms of the acquisition of processing equipment and provision of technical support.
The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry also pointed out that the Regional Strategic Plan for Fruticulture, which includes coffee, is under way in the Azores. This document will contain specific proposals and operational goals for coffee production, which was introduced in the Azores between the 18th and 19th centuries.


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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