Original article by: ESM
Over the last decade, Portugal has quadrupled its production of olive oil and tripled the volume of exports to €434 million in 2016, reports Publico.
As a result, Portugal has gone from a net importer of olive oil, with a deficit of €50 million in 2008, to a trade balance surplus of €170 million in 2016, according to the State Secretary for Agriculture, Luís Vieira.
Last year, Portugal became the seventh largest olive oil producer in the world and the fourth largest exporter. According to Viera, the result was achieved due to a combination of factors. These include new irrigated areas, especially in the Alqueva region, innovative and qualified investments in modern orchards, and the high technological profile of the productive structures.
In addition, the government’s Programa de Desenvolvimento Rural (rural development programme) supported 4,000 investment projects between 2007 and 2014, for a total amount of €700 million.
Viera is confident that olive oil production could reach 120,000 tonnes by 2020, largely resulting from the the production of new olive groves.