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President of Madeira Visits Zootechnical Station

The refurbishment work of the Zootechnical Station of Madeira – Dr. Carlos Dória, located in Santa, Porto Moniz, is complete, and to celebrate its completion the President of the Regional Government, Miguel Albuquerque visited the facility at midday today. The contract included the renovation of the exteriors and buildings, costing around 3.2 million euros.
According to a note issued from the Presidency’s Office, this intervention “has given new dynamism to the regions livestock sector.”
The initiative, created by the office of the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development, included several investments, such as land clearing of non-fire retardant plants, and the planting of 5000 indigenous plants, including 2000 Island Beech trees, 1000 Loureiros and 2000 – deciduous species.
The investment also includes the installation of a sheep fence, covering an area of ​​3683 meters, with the placement of 8 gates, as well as the improvement and installation of biodiverse pastures on 19 hectares.
Furthermore, the installation of apiaries, including beehives and support were implemented, as well as a  beekeeping support room, and new beekeeping equipment.  
The Regional Government highlights the investment in functional structures directly related to the establishment of an agroforestry system: acquisition of water troughs for cattle, and creation of a shelter for animals in pasture, a main shelter, a shelter for small animals, a septic tank for slurry, a loading dock, a composting station and a warehouse for machinery and equipment, as well as the improvement of the support unit for workers, and the renovation of the fire-fighting and pasture irrigation network.
The work also included the improvement of the road network through a 2,331 meters extension, the construction of the road network (main access with the placement of a gate – 860m, ​​forest path – 753m, access to the composting station – 200m)  and water storage improvements. 
The Regional Government also proceeded to purchase machinery and equipment: metal cannons and tripod, hoses, acquisition of a tractor and respective accessories, a compost distributor, a trailer with a weighbridge and tapais, a hydraulic comb mower, a cistern trailer, a compost sweeper, a 5 teeth, brushcutter, hydraulic brush cutter, electric cattle fence, water meter.
According to Miguel Albuquerque, a Forest Management Programme was also prepared for the entire area, covering 37 hectares. The objective is to create an education centre which will allow ongoing training, as well as provide a museum space dedicated to livestock activity and the Zootechnical Stations history.
During his visit the President of Madeira stated that the remodeled Zootechnical Station of Madeira is not only a “centre of scientific development and scientific partnerships, but also a tourist attraction for the municipality of  Porto Moniz.”
“Today, we have highly qualified staff in Madeira working in the fields of breed identification, genetic development, and the monitoring of the evolution of the species we have here.”
Among the various departments of the facilities, there is a dairy where there are several native Portuguese species, including a Madeiran breed, Raça da Terra.  The objective of the Regional Government is to create a greater awareness of this particular cattle breed; there are five Raça da Terra cows at the station, but many more among Madeiran producers.  

Samantha Gannon

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