Portugal: Tomato campaign reaches record production in 2012

The tomato campaign beat a production record per hectare this year by reaching 1.2 million tonnes with just 13,000 hectares.

The Association of Tomato Industries (AIT) issued a statement saying that the production this year "has surpassed all initial expectations, not only because of the excellent weather conditions, but also due to the degree of competitiveness, quality, innovation and development which characterise the sector."

However, the AIT warned that the proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could lead to funding cuts for Portuguese growers. 

"With this renegotiation proposal, in two years the funding could go from 2,100 Euro per hectare to just 179 Euro, and this in a sector characterised by huge investment risks and a high degree of specialisation," highlighted the AIT.

The AIT's general secretary, Miguel Cambezes, said in the same statement that "if the proposal for the new CAP is approved as it is now, many growers may have to give up and we could see "a 40% reduction in production, which would endanger the financial viability of many agricultural activities."

According to the sectorial association, Portugal is the world's fifth largest tomato exporter, with an annual average revenue of 250 million Euro.

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