The Andalusian regional government confirmed that the current national strategic plan, which implements the multi-year European Union Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), would slash funds destined for olive and organic farming in the region.
To combat these economic burdens, Junta de Andalucia councilors requested that the reward system introduced by the CAP be applied to farmers without the need for them to formally adopt one or more eco-schemes.
While the CAP provides funds to farmers when they follow the environmental and sustainable minimum practices included in the policy, additional funds are also provided to those farmers who adopt the eco-schemes.
CAP 2023 – 2027 eco-schemes include low-carbon agriculture and agro-ecology practices, such as spontaneous or sowed vegetation cover, infield vegetation cover, the establishment of biodiversity areas, extensive grazing of livestock, crop rotation and more.
The proposed modifications to the strategic plan will be sent to the central government by March 1st. According to the Junta, organic farming and olive farms should be considered eco-scheme adopters “per sé” because of the nature of their agricultural operations.See Also:Andalusia Demands More Funds for Olive Oil and Table Olive Producers in New Policy
The initiative aims to prevent farmers’ need to set up additional environmentally-friendly practices to receive the eco-scheme funds.
As ABC de Sevilla reports, the Junta de Andalucia Board will ask the national government to implement a flexible approach to the eco-schemes. During the first year of deployment, they ask for payments to be given to eligible farms and no sanctions to be applied.
The Board will also ask that the obligations to maintain vegetable cover among the olive trees and grazing in livestock fields be canceled.
Additionally, the Board would like more soil types to be considered for the rewards. Currently, the policy focuses on farmland slopes.
According to the Board, it is also crucial to redefine the olive grove regions to soften the cuts implemented by the strategic plan since the original eighteen olive growing areas in Andalusia have been reduced to four. Agropopular reported that the Board will ask the government to increase the regions to six.
The Andalusian government has estimated that the strategic plan will reduce funds to local farmers by €500 million per year.