The Minister of Agriculture argues that "we must bet on innovation and the creation of value in the agricultural sector and in the agribusiness".
The statements were made by Maria do Céu Antunes during a visit to the premises of Proleite, in Oliveira de Azeméis, which took place yesterday, August 5th.
During the visit to this cooperative with more than 50 years of activity, which also included a trip to the plant for the production of compounds for animal feed, the technical laboratory and the photovoltaic plant of Proleite, the managers and milk producers present presented several innovative solutions developed for the promotion and enhancement of dairy products and their concerns arising from the socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, the portfolio holder mentioned the importance of this sector for the economy as a whole and for Portuguese exports. “In milk and butter, we register food sovereignty and produce more than what we consume, but in the case of yogurts and cheeses, we are not self-sufficient. For this reason, I reinforce, once again: we must bet on innovation and value creation in the agricultural sector and in the agribusiness ”, defended the minister.
Still in this context, Maria do Céu Antunes stressed that the Ministry of Agriculture is on the side of the sector so that, “in dialogue, public policies and effective responses are drawn up that are capable of adding quality of life to our territories, reducing inequalities and valuing the increasingly qualified and innovative staff ”.
The minister stated that “the challenges are great, namely in the development of an agriculture that wants to be increasingly greener, so that we are aligned with the various instruments and policies at national, European and world level, without compromising the competitiveness of the sector and the response to the societal challenges that are posed, namely by changing consumption patterns ”.
Maria do Céu Antunes also stressed the relevance of these listening moments, namely in the current context: “We are here to listen to the sector, to dialogue and debate with the sector, namely because we are, at this moment, developing what will be the guidelines of the Common Agricultural Policy for the next investment cycle ”.
It is recalled that milk production in Portugal has a value of 708 million euros, which represents about 9% of agricultural production.
“The volume of production has remained stable over the past ten years and has shown great resilience and capacity to adapt during this pandemic”, highlights the Ministry of Agriculture.