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Ponta Delgada ,  July 27, 2018

Investing in modernisation of agricultural infrastructures is "permanent challenge," says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry, João Ponte, stated that investing in the modernisation of agricultural infrastructures in the Azores is a "permanent challenge," stressing that water supply and storage will be a priority in the next decade.
"Improving public agricultural infrastructures is a permanent challenge for the Government, either by improving agricultural roads or by reinforcing water supply network or by supplying electricity to farms," said João Ponte. He spoke at the opening ceremony of Portal Grosso road on São Miguel Island, an investment of nearly 120 thousand Euros.
This intervention carried out by IROA - Regional Institute of Agrarian Planning will benefit the access to 13 farms, covering an area of approximately 60 hectares. It included the paving of a 1,100-metre extension and the improvement of the drainage system of this road located in the Agrarian Planning Perimeter of Ponta Delgada Dairy Basin.
The government official stressed that the Regional Government works on a daily basis to create better working conditions for farmers as well as to improve the competitiveness of farms and modernise public infrastructures so that the sector may be better prepared to the challenges of the future.
The investment plan in infrastructures for this year represents 10 million Euros in terms of roads, water supply and electrification of farms.
"When the Regional Government invests in a minor work, such as this in Capelas, or in a major work, the purpose is the same, which is to provide farmers with the same conditions and opportunities, regardless of the island where they are located," said João Ponte. He added that the Government will open next month several improvement works in agricultural roads located on the islands of Santa Maria, Graciosa and Pico, thus contributing to social cohesion and the development of agriculture throughout the Region.
In the last four years, the Government of the Azores has invested more than 40 million Euros throughout the archipelago in the improvement of agricultural roads as well as in the supply of water and electricity to farms. 
Despite what has already been done in terms of accessibility, the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry has admitted that there is still much to do, namely in terms of improving water supply and storage. In this context, IROA is conducting a survey and preparing an investment plan for the next decade that will drafted with the collaboration of local authorities and agricultural associations.
"This is a future-oriented strategic document that will prepare the next investment plan under the next community support framework, which is under negotiations," João Ponte said, reiterating that water will play a key role in agricultural investments in the coming 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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