Government is considering the return of Regional Agriculture Directorates

The objective is for the Ministry of Agriculture to be “present on the ground”

Photo: Manuel de Almeida/LUSA

The Minister of Agriculture defended yesterday, in parliament, that the return of the Regional Directorates of Agriculture (DRAP) will be reconsidered, but stressed that this is a decision made by the Government and not by the minister.

“The final decision and the way to act and what will be the decision of the Government, not the minister, is implicit, in terms of review, re-consideration, re-evaluation, in the Government's program. I cannot replace the Government's decision”, stated, in the Assembly of the Republic, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, José Manuel Fernandes.

According to the government official, who was speaking at the parliamentary committee on Agriculture and Fisheries, the Prime Minister, Luís Montenegro, also aims for the Ministry of Agriculture to be “present on the ground”.

The former MEP also assured that he would not defend the decision taken by the previous Government (PS), referring to the transfer of powers from the DRAP to the Regional Coordination and Development Commissions (CCDR). This decision has been contested by the sector.

“We need to have a solution that does not harm the reprogramming of PEPAC [Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan] and the programming of funds. It's easy to destroy, but it's harder to rebuild. We will do it thoughtfully and defend the interest of the farmer, the small farmer”, he highlighted.