Exploring Madeira, Europe's far-flung floating garden (part 1)

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Talking Europe brings you a special farming-focused edition from Madeira. It’s a place known as the Pearl of the Atlantic: a volcanic archipelago that’s twice the size of Malta, an autonomous region of Portugal, but geographically closer to Africa. Today Madeira is perhaps best known for its famous footballing son Cristiano Ronaldo, plus its year-round subtropical climes, which contribute to the famous Madeira fortified wine. In our special programme, FRANCE 24’s Europe Editor Catherine Nicholson takes you to explore this craggy floating garden.

Madeira is a place where vines cling to the steepest of volcanic slopes, and where bananas are grown for export all across the EU.

We speak to Paula Jardim Duarte, the president of Madeiran wine and artisanal products, about the specific difficulties of farming in Madeira, and to MEP Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP) about how Europe has helped improve life on the island.

Our reports take a closer look at the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. We look at how the CAP is still an administrative burden for many farmers who couldn’t survive without its payments. We also find out whether European efforts at encouraging eco-friendly farming have really been bearing fruit.



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