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Angra do Heroísmo ,  April 24, 2019

Azores have great growth potential for organic farming, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated that the regional strategy for the development of organic farming and its action plan stem from a firm option taken by the Regional Government based on a series of objective reasons.
"Firstly, because the Azores have unique soil and climate conditions that can sustain the exploitation of natural agricultural activities. On fact, organic farming leads to environmental benefits and contributes to a much healthier agricultural and food system," said João Ponte, who spoke on a presentation session of the document on Terceira Island.
The government official also highlighted economic reasons, noting that organic production is a new business opportunity, whose products are much more valued in the market.
For João Ponte, the fact that there is a growing number of young trained farmers in the Azores who are more sensitive to sustainability issues and willing to innovate is another strong reason for the Regional Government to move forward with the development of a strategy towards organic farming.
The document was approved by the Council of the Government and was published today in the Official Journal. The initial proposal was prepared by a working group coordinated by professor David Horta Lopes, having received several contributions during the public consultation phase.
"This document intends to guarantee the sustainable growth of this production mode, through measures and actions adapted to the current trends of demand and supply, thus meeting the goals of the Common Agricultural Policy," said João Ponte. On the occasion, he also mentioned that this strategy is based on skills and diversification, being another opportunity to increase food self-sufficiency in the Region.
Stressing that the Azores do not start from scratch on organic farming, João Ponte stated that regionally-produced organic milk will soon reach the shelves of commercial establishments.
"This is a sound strategic decision taken by industries that will contribute to greater awareness and appreciation of our milk. It is an opportunity to conquer new markets and generate more wealth for farmers and industries," João Ponte stressed, adding that there is also potential to explore in meat production.
Regarding the support under POSEI, João Ponte assured that the Regional Government intends to continue increasing aid in 2020 to organic production mode by introducing improvements in the existing support to the maintenance of organic farming. According to him, they should preferably concern the effective marketing of organic products.
"Having a strategic plan for organic farming is not a definitive project. It is just a successful project," João Ponte said, adding that the success of organic farming in the Azores will require joint efforts, determination and stamina from all parties involve in overcoming this challenge.


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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