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The Strategic Plan for the field, challenge of Agriculture in the new course

The Ministry plans to favor small farmers.Carlos Castro / Europa Press

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Autonomous Communities begin this month the debate to prepare the Strategic Plan required by the EU for the application of the new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy as of 2022, which means 47,682 million euros for Spain in five years . The goal is for it to be completed in the spring.

One of the challenges is to achieve a redistribution of funds in view of the continuity in payments applied in 2015 and the limited results obtained in recent years with the policy of convergence of aid between regions. Agriculture clashes with the positions of some communities benefited from the current distribution.

The ministry intends that direct payments and aid for rural development go primarily to the genuine farmer, whose income from agricultural activity represents at least between 20% and 30% of his income. It is proposed to maintain and simplify the regime of small farmers (about 300,000 of almost 700,000 applicants), for those with between six and 10 hectares, who would receive aid of between 200 and 250 euros per hectare. The system for part-time activity continues due to its importance in some areas. The situation of retirees is not addressed, who are 38% of applicants.

The redistribution is specified in the policy proposed by Brussels, establishing the ceiling of 100,000 euros per request, with the possibility of deducting the costs of employment. Along the same lines of redistribution, a complementary support is foreseen for the first hectares of a farm.

A third way would be a greater convergence of aid between regions due to the failure of the regionalization system, whereby important differences remain in the charges of a farmer or rancher for the same activity. Agriculture maintains that the payment must be the same.

And it contemplates that the basic income support that a farmer receives in the highest region should not exceed between five and seven times the amount in the lowest area. Likewise, the possibility of applying decoupled aid to sectors that were excluded without objective reasons is also advocated. Agriculture plans to reduce the number of regions.

The fourth way to redistribute is to review the policy of individual and historical rights, for which today it is possible to receive aid without having the activity. The objective of Agriculture is that the aid convergence processes can be achieved in 2023 and, from there, progressively proceed to abolish individual rights until 2025 and move to a surface payment system.

Another novelty is the eco-schemes, to which 13% of the funds will be allocated for direct payments.