The current quota available for agricultural activity at the Alqueva Multi-Purpose Enterprise (EFMA) "is manifestly insufficient to accommodate the expansion of the irrigated area currently under development," said Rui Garrido.

According to Rui Garrido, it is estimated that “the irrigation in Alqueva will benefit around 200 thousand hectares in the near future”, which, according to the quota currently available, “means an irrigation endowment of less than 3,000 cubic meters [water] per hectare”.

This situation, he pointed out, endangers “some permanent crops already planted” and seriously limits “the range of options for others to be planted”.

In his speech, the president of ACOS stressed that agriculture in the region forms “a very diversified and balanced cultural mosaic”, for the “future”.

"Contrary to what many people preach, based more on beliefs than on technical and scientific knowledge, modern agriculture has a future and has to be practiced consciously using all available resources", he added.

Rui Garrido also highlighted the “fundamental” role of agriculture during the current pandemic period, guaranteeing “food sovereignty”.

"[This activity] has never stopped or created unemployment, although sometimes with some difficulties in sectors that have suffered significant drops in consumption and prices," he said.

The Mayor of Beja, also present at the opening session of the fair, also praised the provision of farmers during the covid-19 pandemic.

“Agriculture, throughout this year, has played a vital role, not always praised as it should be”, considered Paulo Arsénio (PS).