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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Farming confederation tables proposals to use EU funds to modernise

Lisbon, Sept.24,2020(Lusa)- Portugal's leading farming confederation is on Thursday to submit a document calling for a range of measures to modernise the sector and revive the economy with the help of European Union funds, in areas such as technology, energy, water and soils.
"It is a somewhat different document from the usual: not demands, but calls," the president of the Confederation of Portuguese Farmers (CAP), Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa, told Lusa. "It is presented as part of the strategy that the government intends to implement to cover the financial aid it will receive from the European Union."
According to the CAP president, the measures in question aim to "modernise agriculture and fit this impetus with the economy"; they cover areas such as energy, water, soils, forests and technology.
The document, titled 'Agri Ambition 2020-30', includes contributions from several experts in areas such as industry, finance and the environment, analysing whether the measures "fit into the strategy that the Government is going to assemble."
According to Oliveira e Sousa, the proposals also cut across all segments of agriculture and thus they can be applied, for example, to livestock, forestry or fruit and vegetable growing, with the document "emphasising the need to introduce added value through the transformation of industry linked to the agricultural sector."
In addition to the guidelines contained in it, the CAP proposal will identify the financial instruments that should be targeted in each of the areas addressed.
"We do not quantify [...] but give non-binding or exhaustive indications," he said. "These are contributions that, from the CAP's point of view, have a door through which they can be directed."
He declined to unveil specific measures until the document's official presentation.
He stressed that "the timetable is already tight", since the government must by mid-October submit to the European Commission a first outline of its plan to use the EU funds that it is to receive as part of the post-pandemic recovery, but expressed confidence that the government would adopt the CAP proposals.
"I have this hope, not only because of what I have heard in the context of the analyses produced of [António] Costa Silva's [economic recovery plan] document, but also because the state has praised the role of farmers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
The ceremony in Lisbon to present the "Agri Ambition 2020-30" was to be attended by Portugal's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, by video-conference.
The event is also to be attended by the minister for agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, the minister for economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, the secretary of state for consumer protection, João Torres, the secretary of state for the promotion of the interior, Isabel Ferreira, and the secretary of state for agriculture and rural development, Nuno Russo.
Costa Silva, who authored the government's recovery plan at the invitation in May of the prime minister, António Costa, was also due to attend.
The plan constitutes a medium-term programme to respond in a structured manner to the financial, economic and social crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with "10 strategic axes: network of indispensable infrastructures; qualification of the population, the acceleration of the digital transition, digital infrastructure, science and technology; health and the future; the welfare state; reindustrialisation of the country; industrial conversion; the energy transition and electrification of the economy; territorial cohesion, agriculture and forestry; new paradigm for cities and mobility; and culture, services, tourism and commerce.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-09-25 09:21:00


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