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Madalena ,  June 12, 2018

Good implementation of PRORURAL + evidences confidence of all agents in the agricultural and forest sector, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry highlighted in Madalena the "absolutely irreprehensible" management of Community funds in the Azores, which has contributed to the development of agricultural, forest and rural areas.
"This is quite evident to the extent that we already registered a commitment of 75% and an execution rate of 43.5% by April 3. These figures say a lot about how we have acted and worked, in partnership with all industry organisations," said João Ponte. The government official spoke at the opening of the 4th PRORURAL + Monitoring Committee.
The government official revealed that more than 12,900 applications have been submitted under different measures and sub-measures of PRORURAL + since its beginning, corresponding to a public expenditure of 297 million Euros. In this regard, he added that "12,095 projects have been approved with a global investment of 131 million Euros."
João Ponte announced that, by the end of September, the Regional Government plans to launch another two calls for submission of applications and the approval of projects related to investments in farms and support to processing, representing an overall financial allocation of 11.8 million Euros.
"These indicators are clear signs of the confidence of different agents in the agricultural, forest and rural development sectors that have fostered the development and economic growth of the Azores, through investments in the most diverse areas," said João Ponte. In this regard, the government official expects that the European Commission be in favour of the request submitted by the Region for a strategic change to PRORURAL +.
João Ponte pointed out that PRORURAL + is a programme with "multiple positive impacts in the Azores," starting from the modernisation of infrastructures and farms to the installation of young farmers and investments in the development of forest areas and rural development, among others.
At a time when Member States and the European Parliament will discuss and negotiate the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget for the period 2021-2027, the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry once again mentioned the reduction of the budget allocation for the Rural Development Programme. According to him, this fact will "a vast negative impact on a number of areas, jeopardising the growth of agriculture, economic development and social cohesion."
For João Ponte, it is inexplicable how Outermost Regions are addressed in the current CAP budget proposal. He pointed out that, for example, POSEI has a reduction of 3.9% while the first pillar for Portugal registers an increase of 3.9%, which calls into question the core values of the European project such as economic and territorial cohesion.
"Now, it is important to mobilise everyone in the Region and in the country for the negotiation phase that will now begin in order to have a different CAP proposal for the better. It should be able to respond to our challenges, ensuring a better future for agriculture, for forests and for rural development," 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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