The agricultural sector of the Algarve could require €100 million in support if drought conditions and planned water supply cuts persist, according to José Apolinário, president of the CCDR (Regional Coordination and Development Commission). The CCDR has prepared a proposal, after consulting with around 20 industry organisations, outlining the short-term support needed to manage the reduction in water availability.
The proposal, presented to the government, includes measures such as portable desalination plants, pond construction, borehole rehabilitation, and wastewater use, funded by European funds and direct aid. However, compensation for the anticipated loss of production is still necessary.
The support measures proposed include non-repayable financial support, cash flow and debt restructuring support lines, credit moratoriums, and temporary exemptions from social security payments and/or public irrigation perimeter fees. The proposal aims to ensure the sector's sustainability and the future of Algarve agriculture.
The citrus fruit production and ornamental plants and flowers sector, which significantly contributes to exports, are the most affected and water-dependent sectors. The support and investment amount may be adjusted based on short-term reaction capacity, with the most significant impact expected in 2025.