Fifty-five agricultural irrigation projects are approved in the country with an investment of 278 million euros, of which 18 are in the works, the Agriculture Ministry said today.
Of the National Irrigation Program, “55 projects are already approved, corresponding to an overall investment amount of 278 million euros, some of which are already under construction, such as what I will visit today in Óbidos / Bombarral, and others await environmental impact study, “said Luís Capoulas Santos.
Eighteen of the 55 projects are in construction and total an investment of 86 million euros.
Among the projects approved for the construction or renovation of irrigation systems for agriculture are investments in Óbidos / Bombarral, Leiria district (25 million euros), Vila Franca de Xira, Lisbon (more than 30 million euros), and Campo Maior, Portalegre (25 million euros).
There are investments in Customs of Faith, Vila Flor, Mirandela and Macedo de Cavaleiros (in the district of Bragança), Chaves (Vila Real), Soure (Coimbra), Marinha Grande and Alcobaça / Nazaré (Leiria) Alcácer do Sal and Santiago do Cacém (Setúbal).
Projects in Montemor-o-Novo, Alandroal, in the Alamos channel, a subsystem of the Alqueva dam, Mourão and Redondo (in Évora district), Odemira (Beja), Silves, Castro Marim and Lagos (Faro).
The National Irrigation Plan has an investment of 560 million euros by 2023. Sixty per cent of the projects corresponds to the construction of new irrigation systems and the remaining 40% to the remodelling of existing ones.
Capoulas Santos told that the government wants to “provide the country with more than 100,000 hectares of new irrigation, between new irrigation and the re-qualification of existing ones, a way to mitigate climate change and reduce production costs.”
“It is a very important responsibility for a country that wants to continue to see its agriculture grow above the rest of the economy, which wants to continue to grow in exports, which this year have registered a growth of 6% compared to last year,” he stressed. Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development.
These investments will allow the creation of 10,500 jobs in agriculture, according to the official.
By the end of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture will also launch calls for other investments amounting to 282 million euros, one of which is the expansion of the Alqueva dam system, covering 55 thousand hectares of agricultural land.
The ministry is also negotiating to fund for the next Community framework for the program’s second phase of investment to cover at least another 100,000 hectares.
Capoulas Santos and the Prime Minister, António Costa, visit today the works of the Irrigation Network of Óbidos and Amoreira, an investment of 25 million euros that will involve a thousand hectares of land and 900 farmers of the parishes of Amoreira and Olho Marinho, in the municipality of Obidos, and of the Po and the Roliça, in Bombarral.
After the construction of the Arnóia dam, completed since 2005, a lift station and the Óbidos irrigation network are in operation until the beginning of 2019.
The governors will today sign a contract for the start of construction of the Amoreira irrigation network.