The Regional Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development visited the Agricultural Products Supply Centre of Funchal (CAPA), in São Martinho, as part of an action to disseminate the traditional varieties of sweet potatoes produced in Madeira and Porto Santo that now bear the ‘Designation of Origin’ certificate.
Led by the Regional Government of Madeira, the main objective is to protect and commercially value seven traditional varieties of sweet potatoes – ‘Brasileira’, ‘5 bicos’, ‘Carrot Regional’, ‘Inglesa’, ‘Cabeiras’, ‘Amarelinha’ and ‘Cabreira Branca do Porto Santo’.
“From now on, interested farmers will be able to enjoy the benefits of certification, provided that the production process complies with the provisions set out in their specifications, i.e. they must follow the traditional way of growing this tuberous root,” explained Humberto Vasconcelos, who also clarified that producers should go to CAPA or one of the Hortofruticultural Supply Centres, under the tutelage of the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development, in Canhas, Prazeres, Santana or Santa do Porto Moniz, in order to be able to bear the designation of origin in the sweet potato packaging, thus distinguishing the sweet potato from Madeira.
It should be reported that the Designation of Origin applies to products whose originality and individuality are identifiable to a particular region, place, or tradition. It aims to identify a product unequivocally, based on specific characteristics such as genuineness, quality, geography, climate, soil, and means of production.
Sweet potato farming in the region currently involves around 4,000 farms, which annually produce around 12,000 tonnes of sweet potatoes. Covering an area of 563 hectares, the market has a current potential earning of 5.4 million euros.
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