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Vila do Porto ,  July 25, 2018

"Remarkable path followed by Azorean Agriculture" cannot be jeopardised by European Commission's proposal, warns Vasco Cordeiro

The President of the Government defended today that the European Commission should change its proposal for Pillar II of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the post-2020 period, being a prerequisite for the Region to maintain a rural development programme appropriate to the specificities of its agriculture.
"We believe that this should be changed because it is a condition for the Region to continue defining a rural development programme that takes into account our specificities and the characteristics of our archipelago. It should allow the Azores to be able to decide on the investments, areas and interventions they deem necessary," said Vasco Cordeiro.
The President of the Government spoke at the presentation of the project for the improvement of Facho Road on the island of Santa Maria, an investment over one million Euros. According to him, this is not just a matter of reducing the amount proposed, but also a matter of how the European Commission regards the relation between Regions and States.
"Precisely in Pillar II of CAP, the one establishing greater of capacity for intervention on the part of Regions, the proposal presented by Commission provides for a reduction of the amount available. This is not acceptable due to the political sign it gives to the centralisation of the decision-making power in Brussels, as there are decisions that must have a strong local component. Moreover, the amounts provided for in the proposal are not acceptable," warned Vasco Cordeiro.
On the second day of the statutory visit to Santa Maria, the President of the Government also highlighted the "absolutely remarkable" path that the agricultural sector has followed in recent years in terms of quantity and quality, not only in the milk and meat sectors but also in agricultural diversification.
"As evidenced in the funds allocated to agriculture, the Region has a good record of proper implementation and good use of these funds. Under ProRural, there are already more than 13 thousand applications submitted," Vasco Cordeiro said, ensuring that the Regional Government is “deeply committed" to this process.
"We are deeply committed to this fight in favour of Azorean Agriculture and our Region. We welcome everyone who understands that this is the moment to raise the voice in defence of agriculture," said the President of the Government.
After stressing that the Region has successfully overcome the challenge of securing POSEI funds, Vasco Cordeiro said that these policy options taken by Brussels have a decisive influence on the Region's ability to continue with the good implementation and use of Community funds.
An investment over one million Euros, the intervention in Facho Road will be divided into three phases, covering an extension almost five kilometres. It will significantly improve access to 300 hectares of pasture that comprises 30 farms.
"Naturally, this investment in Facho Road is part of an effort we have undertaken to provide this island, like others, with the necessary infrastructures to support agricultural activity regarding roads, water supply and the electrification of farms," assured Vasco Cordeiro.
As for water supply to farms, the President of the Government announced that IROA - Regional Institute of Agrarian Planning has clear guidelines to prepare an action plan for a 10-year time horizon with the aim of ensuring and safeguarding the supply needs on Santa Mary and throughout the Region.
"The island of Santa Maria is an example of what has been done in the Region in terms of water supply. In 2018, the investment made in this component surpasses 1.5 million Euros," Vasco Cordeiro said, adding that the Regional Government has invested more than 26 million Euros in the water supply network to farms over the last 10 years.
With regard to rural roads, this effort has allowed the Region to network of roads covering more than 1,600 kilometres, half of which have already been paved due to the investments of 25 million Euros made in the last 10 years.


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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