On 27/01/2023, the Parliamentary and European Conference ‘Thinking Europe: Agriculture’, hosted by the European Democratic Party and organized with the help of Madeiran party JPP, took place in Santa Cruz.
Rafael Nunes, responsible for coordinating the initiative, brought together interventions from various participants from Madeira and the Canary Islands, who were responsible for institutions and associations linked to the agricultural sector. Narvay Quintero, former regional Minister of Agriculture for the Canary Islands, was also present.
This initiative is part of a more general focus the European Democrats concerning outermost regions, after our 2022 conference in Tenerife with representatives from France, Spain and Portugal, including 2 French MEPs.
The choice of the theme, Agriculture, deals with the importance that the sector represents for the regional economy and for Madeirans, as it is a sector that has had questionable results in statistical terms. Recently, an agricultural surface has been lost in a brutal way in which four thousand farmers have been lost in recent years. Therefore, it is a sector that has to be analyzed with some concern.
The example of the Canary Islands was observed, which has created incentive measures for farmers, and has improved their income, by having collected ideas for its application in the Madeira Archipelago.
The conference reflected on how it is possible to bring more income to agriculture, namely for the banana and sugarcane sectors. It also analyzes the role of the European Union in this sector, particularly in the outermost regions and draw some conclusions on which path to take, including which level of political and technical strategies to follow for the future.
The problems that the Region faces in the agricultural sector were pointed out. The impact of the current Government’s measures in this area in recent years, the concerns of farmers as well as the successive increase in prices of products needed for agriculture and fuel, and the “extremely low” remuneration of producers were also discussed.
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European Day on Agriculture on 27 January in Santa Cruz, Madeira.