The Secretary of State for Agriculture and Food highlighted the “strength” of the agri-food sector, underlining that in 2018 exports rose 4.1 percent, reaching 6.9 billion euros.
“Our farmers were able to transform a sector that was traditional and where few people believed in a booming and innovative sector”, said Luís Medeiros Vieira.
Speaking in Braga, during the inauguration of AGRO 2019 – 52nd International Fair of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, the Secretary of State added that the event “shows clearly that Portuguese agriculture is going through a good time”, despite having to face difficulties such as climate change.
“It’s more professional, more innovative and more market oriented”, he said.
For Luís Medeiros Vieira, this dynamic of agriculture “is also due to public policies”, namely the “proper implementation” of the Rural Development Program, “which is at 53 per cent in the first places” of the whole European Union.
He said that more than 20,000 projects have been approved and contracted with the farmers, amounting to 3.2 billion euros, which correspond to non-repayable grants of more than two billion euros.
He also mentioned the opening of 52 new markets in third countries, including China, where 100 million euros of pork meat will be exported.
He also pointed out data for 2018 relating to the export of 1,500 million euros in the fruit and vegetable sector, more than 800 million wine and more than 570 million olive oil.
“We grew 4.1 percent and reached 6.9 billion euros. In a sector where few people believed, this number is extremely significant, even when compared to other sectors of economic activity”, he said.