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Horta ,  November 13, 2017

João Ponte says Plan and Budget for 2018 respond to challenges of the agricultural sector

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forests stated in Horta that the Plan and Budget for 2018 respond to the challenges of the agricultural sector, being oriented towards modernisation, competitiveness and cost reduction in the agricultural sector.
"The Plan for Agriculture and Forestry to be implemented next year responds to the challenges of the sector and continues to invest in modernisation," said João Ponte. He spoke to journalists after being hear at the Committee on Economic Affairs of the Legislative Assembly.
João Ponte noted that the investments of the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Forestry provided for in the Plan, with an overall allocation of 170 million Euros, will continue to ensure the stability of the sector, despite the permanent challenges it faces.
In this context, he added that, for example, the investment in the rural road network, water supply and electrification of farms will grow more than 130% next year, i.e., it will more than double compared to 2017.
These interventions, which will take place on all islands, are essential for improving working conditions. They will significantly contribute to the competitiveness of the sector, reducing production costs and improving farmers' income.
João Ponte stressed that the Plan will allocate five million Euros for investments promoted by farmers themselves, which will boost investment of about 20 million Euros.
At the same time, the Plan reinforces the funds for regional co-participation in investments in the agri-food industry, with a budget of 1.8 million Euros, which will allow an overall investment over 25 million Euros.
The Government of the Azores will also continue supporting private investments, producers' organisations, training, agricultural experimentation and advisory services, thus contributing to the development and qualification of products and technical skills.
"Producing in the Azores has higher costs than the national and European average. So, the support provided under POSEI and the direct aid granted by the Government are fundamental for the maintenance of this activity, not only for what it represents for the Region's economy but also for the wealth generation and employment creation," stressed João Ponte.
The Plan will also ensure the Region's appropriations for payments and investments under PRORURAL+, including the maintenance of agricultural activity, agri-environmental measures (Natura 2000), the LEADER approach, and the forestry and rural development measures.
The Regional Secretary considered that farmers' adherence to PRORURAL + has been very significant. The investments carried out by young farmers and the installation of new facilities show confidence in the future of the sector.
Regarding the regional slaughter network, the government official said the new slaughterhouses of Faial and Graciosa will be concluded next year as well as the remodelling works of the slaughterhouses of São Miguel and Terceira. The latter intervention aims to improve the refrigerator storage capacity and the operating conditions.


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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