cartoon of dry soil and sky with white clouds

This Thursday, the government approved a resolution in the Council of Ministers establishing 320 million euros in support for the agricultural sector, “aimed at mitigating the effects borne by the sector as a result of the drought and inflation in production costs”.

In addition to this, the government also announced more than 2.2 million euros to support the managing bodies of the Algarve region’s hydro-agricultural schemes, “to ensure minimum levels of maintenance and operation of public infrastructures”.

Last week, the government launched an aid package for farmers, aimed at mitigating the impact of the drought and reinforcing the Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan (PEPAC), with more than 400 million euros in funding.

Most of the measures included in the support package will come into force this month, with the exception of those that depend on the green light from Brussels. The 50 million euro credit line to support cash flow, another of the measures announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, is available to all farmers “immediately”.

The timetable for the application of the support reveals that the reduction of the ISP – Tax on Petroleum Products to the minimum permitted level is included in an ordinance, published on January 31st, which is already in force. At stake is a reduction from 4.7 cents per liter to 2.1, in other words, a 55% drop, which is equivalent to 11 million euros per year.

Portuguese farmers have been taking to the streets since last week, in actions organized by a movement that claims to be spontaneous.

These protests have affected hundreds of roads from north to south, with tractors at a standstill or idling.

Farmers are demanding a more flexible CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), fair working conditions and competition, the right to adequate food and the valorization of their activity.

The support announced by the government did not stop the scheduled protests, with farmers justifying their continued existence by saying that they are “a handful of nothing”, given that no deadlines or payment methods have been defined.

Since then, the Minister for Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, has been meeting with associations and confederations representing the sector.

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