Foreign aid of 180 million should start reaching farmers in the coming days, minister guarantees

The Minister of Agriculture and Food announced this Friday that aid of 180 million euros, under the agreement for the reduction and stabilization of food prices, “should start reaching farmers in the coming days”.

During the commemorative session of Nestlé Portugal’s 100th anniversary, which took place in Estarreja, in the district of Aveiro, Maria do Céu Antunes said that in the coming days extraordinary aid will begin to reach farmers, within the scope of a pact for the stabilization and reduction of prices to consumers.

“We are in a position to close this support package in the coming weeks and with that we can feed the entire chain and help, even so, that the living conditions of our citizens can be better”, she said.

In statements to Lusa, at the end of the session, the minister clarified that this extraordinary aid to farmers in the global amount of 180 million euros, comes within the scope of the pact signed on March 27 between the Government, the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal and the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies.

Although the amount comes exclusively from the State Budget, Maria do Céu Antunes noted that it was necessary to ask for approval from the European Commission so as to “not cause embarrassment from the point of view of the internal market”.

“We are currently with the process already closed, in record time, so that in the coming days, weeks, farmers will receive these values”, she added.

About three weeks ago, during the meeting of the monitoring committee for the price stabilization pact, the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal (CAP) had asked the Government to speed up work to pay support to farmers as soon as it received the “green light” from the European Commission.

“I think the Government has to work to speed up the machine to pay when it has authorization from Brussels. It’s not after Brussels says yes, that it’s going to start doing this work. We drew attention to that”, said Luís Mira at the time, speaking to Lusa.

To contain the impact of inflation on the portfolio of the Portuguese, the Government has launched a set of measures, such as the application of a 0% VAT rate on a basket of essential food products.

The list of products with 0% VAT includes canned tuna, cod, bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, onions, broccoli, chicken, pork or olive oil.

The zero VAT measure came into effect on April 18 and will last until the end of October. The pact monitoring commission should meet again at the end of May.

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