Young farmers sow the seeds of economic recovery in Algarve

The economic crisis has led to an increasing number of young people turning to fruit and vegetable farming to help boost the Algarve’s fight against inflation.

In the last two years, the number of farmers between the age of 18 and 40 has trebled and continues to rise, according to statistics from the Direcção Regional de Agricultura e Pesca (Regional Directorate for Agriculture and Fisheries).

Government funding through the Programa de Desenvolvimento Rural (PRODER), amounting to €35.3 million, has produced a total of 333 various projects for young people dedicated to rural development. And even more opportunities are envisaged during 2013.

The investment by PRODER has boosted the production of fruit, vegetables and bee-keeping and according to Fernando Severini, director of the Direcção Regional de Agricultura e Pesca, this will help the region’s economy.

He stressed the fact that the production of fruit such as strawberries and raspberries cultivated by modern techniques, which do not require planting in soil, along with growing the medronho fruit for the production of the celebrated Algarve aguardente spirit, could add significantly to the potential for exporting Algarvean produce.

The support programme by PRODER for rural development has seen financial backing for no fewer than 1,065 agricultural projects in the Algarve which corresponds to an investment of €162 million.

He also pointed out that the favourable climatic conditions of the Algarve are ideal for foreign agricultural enterprises.