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Portugal points to efficient use of water as a priority for agricultural policy at COP28

The Secretary of State for Agriculture points out that Portugal must take advantage of the conditions it has in order to boost the production and export of food, compensating for the import of others.

The Secretary of State for Agriculture said this Sunday that the high consumption of water in the agricultural sector is not an expense, but a necessity, stressing that efficient use is a priority, along with the energy transition.

Gonçalo Rodrigues was at the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28), taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the day that the thematic program was dedicated to food, agriculture and water.

The agricultural sector is one of the most water-intensive and, in recent years, has also been increasing its greenhouse gas emissions. Even so, it was the first time that the issue had been given such prominence at a climate summit.

Despite the environmental weight, the Secretary of State stressed the importance of the sector, understanding that, in a cost-benefit assessment, water consumption is not an expense, but a necessity.

He added, however, that "there is a great effort being made, not only by the member states, but by Portugal in particular, to try to adopt technologies that will allow consumption to be reduced, making the use of water more and more efficient".

Some of these examples were presented at a session organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, held at the Portuguese pavilion at COP28, on the production of olive oil and nuts.

"From a food point of view, there is no country in the world that is completely sovereign," he began, referring to these two cases and the size of the plantations, adding that the fact that Portugal is taking advantage of endogenous conditions that allow it to boost the production of certain foods for export, thus also compensating for the need to import others, does not imply that the road is not being traveled in the best way.

"We live in a perfectly globalized world and we also have to respond to other needs, but always with a very clear focus on defending the globe, focusing on what should be done well," he said.

On the other hand, and with regard to the energy transition, Gonçalo Rodrigues stressed that this is also a priority and highlighted the project to install Europe's largest floating photovoltaic project in Alqueva as an example to follow.

The launch of the installation procedure was announced today by the Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infraestruturas do Alqueva (EDIA) and it will be the largest floating photovoltaic project in Europe, with an estimated production of 90 gigawatt hours (GWh)/year.

"The message we've passed on is that we're making our way through the adoption of technologies, changing mentalities, incorporating a national design to try and find solutions to this problem," he said in an assessment of his participation in the summit.

Fonte: TSF, 10 December 2023


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