"This current time is marked by the pandemic and we believe that agriculture can contribute decisively to the recovery of the economy", said the regional secretary.

António Ventura said that agriculture will have an investment of €122 million in 2021.

"The investment plan for agriculture and rural development foresees a total public investment of around €122 million, of which €59.5 million correspond to funds invested directly by the Autonomous Region of the Azores and €62 million of community funds", he declared.

The regional secretary also added that, in the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), an investment of €37 million in the regional agricultural sector is programmed and stressed the importance of support measures for agricultural producers, who saw their income affected by the pandemic of Covid-19.

"The current pandemic has also greatly affected producers' income through the drop in consumption", he pointed out.

António Ventura also recalled that in the Azores the price paid to milk producers is the lowest in Europe, underlining “how difficult it is to exercise agricultural activity” in the archipelago.

On the other hand, the official stressed the need for the region to carry on organic production and “reduce dependence on external food”.