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Ribeira Grande ,  July 23, 2019

POSEI 2020 Programme is fundamental to continue developing the Azorean agricultural sector, says João Ponte

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry, João Ponte, stated today that the proposal for the POSEI 2020 programme will be submitted to the European Commission next week and was prepared with the contribution of producers' organisations. According to him, this proposal is essential to further develop the agricultural sector, having introduced new measures aimed at enhancing agricultural production and ensuring the sustainability of Azorean agriculture.
“This will be the last POSEI programme under the current Community support framework. It focuses on our traditional productions such as milk and meat, but also supports emerging productions, which have grown in a very sustainable manner as it is the case of vegetables, fruit and vineyards," said João Ponte. He spoke after a meeting with the board of the Azores Agricultural Federation.
Comparing POSEI in 2016 with the proposal for 2020, the government official stated that the budget allocation for horticultural and fruit production will increase by 40% and 100% in the case of vineyard maintenance. This is a clear evidence of the Regional Government's strategic commitment to help these productions to grow in a sustainable manner, which has resulted in the considerable growth of production areas.
João Ponte pointed out that in the case of milk production, the proposed amendment to POSEI 2020 programme introduces very significant changes. In fact, it will allow producers on the islands where industries face production surplus (São Miguel, Terceira and Graciosa) to voluntarily reduce their cattle and their production by up to 20%, without penalties in the dairy cow and milk producer premiums.
With the aim of encouraging milk production and ensuring the viability and sustainability of industries, João Ponte stressed that the milk producer premium will be increased by 2 cents per litre of milk produced in excess compared with the previous year.
“Both measures are important and can contribute to improving the efficiency of dairy farms,” said João Ponte.
As for the meat sector, where the Regional Government has invested in new infrastructures, João Ponte stressed that the POSEI 2020 proposal will reduce the unit value of the slaughter premium, which represents an overall of 14 million Euros per year. The aim is to minimise apportionment rates, seeing that cattle slaughtering has grown significantly in the Azores, registering a 24% increase in the number of cattle approved for consumption over the last four years.
The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry stated that, besides the allocation of 70.4 million Euros from Community funds, the POSEI 2020 budget will also receive an allocation of 5 million Euros from regional funds. This is a key financial envelope to further develop the agricultural sector in the Azores.
According to the government official, it is necessary to continue working together to ensure that the Azores have a good POSEI programme in 2020, maintaining pressure on the National Government and Community entities to increase the overall allocation. In this regard, he defended that, on the grounds of convergence and equity, this programme should grow by 4.8%, the equivalent to the first pillar of the Member State, Portugal.



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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