The Strategic Plan of Cyprus for the new Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027 is submitted to the European Commission with a budget of € 461.9 million.
An amount of up to half a billion euros will be allocated to the agricultural sector during the five years 2023–2027, according to the Strategic Plan of our country for the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) approved today by the Council of Ministers and will be submitted to the European Commission for consultation and approval before the end of 2022.
Speaking at today's press conference, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Costas Kadis, stated that the new Strategic Plan of Cyprus can substantially contribute to the Ministry's vision for a sustainable, “green” and “clean” Cyprus. “Through the application of the principles of sustainable development in agriculture and animal husbandry, the protection of the environment and the management of our natural resources, which will lead to the creation of new employment opportunities and the improvement of the quality of life of citizens, the new CAP will “contributes decisively to the implementation of the goals and policies of the Government for further development of the agricultural sector”, said Mr. Kadis.
As the Minister stressed, the Cyprus Strategic Plan is fully in line with the new EU development model, as expressed by the Green Agreement and individual policies such as the “Farm to Dish Strategy”, the “EU Biodiversity Strategy”. 2030 “and the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy”.
The Minister pointed out that in the announcements of the new Strategic Plan there is a widespread emphasis on green growth and the circular economy, on the promotion of innovative actions and actions of smart agriculture, on the support of young farmers, on the recognition of the peculiarities of mountainous areas and income for all productive sectors.
Mr. Kadis explained that, during the five years 2023-2027, € 461.9 million will be allocated, of which € 83.6 million relate to a national contribution. He also said that according to the budget of the Plan, an amount of € 238.2 million will be allocated as direct payments, € 22 million will be allocated to the common market organizations, while an amount approaching € 201 million will be granted through, from various interventions in rural development.
Then, the competent Minister proceeded to an analysis of the nine objectives of the Strategic Plan CAP 2023-2027. These include, inter alia, targeted aid, such as increasing the amount of aid in mountainous areas, while efforts will be made to strengthen the role of Producer Groups / Organizations in the agricultural production chain. Particularly important, according to Mr. Kadis, are the announcements for the introduction of a new measure for the restoration of agricultural potential after natural disasters, as well as the comprehensive framework for supporting active crop protection actions (anti-hail, anti-rain systems).
In addition, Mr. Kadis pointed out the need for the contribution of the agricultural sector in mitigating the effects of climate change and in the adaptation of agriculture and livestock to it.
The priority of the Ministry, the Minister added, remains the attraction of young farmers and the facilitation of their business development in rural areas. According to the Plan, a favorable aid framework is provided for the establishment of young farmers in mountainous areas, with higher aid amounts.
The preparation of the Strategic Plan started in 2019 and included an ongoing process of consultation with all stakeholders. The consultation involved, among others, the agricultural movement, the productive sectors, non-governmental organizations, the academic and research community, while there was the possibility of free online submission of suggestions and opinions from the general public. Subsequently, an analysis of the current situation, prioritization of needs, consultation and recommendations by the European Commission on complementarity and coupling with other pan-European policies and strategies were carried out.
The 9 Objectives of the Strategic Plan and indicative interventions for each objective
Objective 1 – Support sustainable agricultural incomes and resilience to support food security :
• Provision of redistributive aid for the benefit of small and medium-sized holdings, for fairer direct payments,
• Increase in the amount of aid in mountainous areas,
• Integrated support framework for active crop protection actions (anti-hail, anti-rain systems),
• Maintaining linked aid to sheep and goats.
• Introduction of a new measure for the restoration of agricultural potential after natural disasters.
Objective 2 – Increase competitiveness, focusing mainly on research, technology and digitization:
• Special emphasis on new production technologies and “precision agriculture” technologies,
• Reduction of energy costs in production units through utilization of RES,
• Increase budget to improve the organized housing infrastructure of livestock units and the services provided to them,
• Review / improve how to implement an existing co-operation measure to promote innovation (eg one-off application).
Objective 3 – Improve the position of farmers in the food chain:
• Continuing efforts to strengthen the role of Producer Groups / Organizations,
• Implementation of Common Market Organizations in the Fruit, Vegetables, Wine and Honey sectors,
• Connection of primary sector with tourism and gastronomy,
• Promotion of e-commerce of agricultural products.
Objective 4 – Contribute to mitigating and adapting to climate change, contributing to the production of sustainable energy sources:
• Financing of new recycled water utilization projects to replace the use of surface and groundwater,
• Livestock waste management with increased maximum amounts per agricultural holding,
• Introduction of a new measure to reduce ammonia from livestock farms,
• Continuation of forest interventions with improved provisions for afforestation actions.
Objective 5 – Promote sustainable development and effective management of natural resources such as water, soil and air:
• Introduction of new action to reduce losses of large irrigation networks,
• Extended financial incentives for composting on farms,
• Creation of circular economy infrastructures (small local infrastructures for agricultural waste management),
• Encourage collaborations to promote actions and raise awareness of local communities on issues of recycling, circular economy,
• Introduction for the first time of agri-environmental interventions for greenhouses (eg solar disinfection).
Objective 6 – Contribute to the protection of biodiversity, enhance ecosystem services and habitat conservation:
• Compensatory aid to farmers for compliance with Natura 2000 area decrees,
• Introduction of a new action for the installation and maintenance of nests for human birds, with the aim of biological treatment of rodents,
• Encourage the creation and maintenance of dry stones, through increased reinforcements.
• Introduction of new action for preservation of old wine-producing vineyards with indigenous varieties,
• Preservation of landscape elements / islets of biodiversity within the holdings.
Objective 7 – Attract young farmers and facilitate business development in rural areas:
• Implementation of interventions for young farmers from both pillars of the CAP,
• A more favorable aid framework for the establishment of young farmers in mountainous areas, with higher aid amounts,
• Ability to secure funding through the tools for accessing funds implemented by the Ministry of Finance,
• Business development opportunities related to the primary sector, through the interventions of the Local Action Groups.
Objective 8 – Promoting employment, social inclusion and local development in rural areas:
• Development of infrastructure and services of public social benefits, training and entrepreneurship in rural areas,
• Packaging and pruning waste management and recycling systems,
• Configuration of a framework for highlighting smart villages.
Objective 9 – Improve the response of EU agriculture to society's food and health requirements. Promoting the welfare of productive animals:
• Commitment to a significant increase in holdings and areas in organic farming and animal husbandry,
• Introduction of a new measure for the welfare of pigs to address the practice of cutting the tails,
• Introduce a new measure to reduce the use of antibiotics in pig farming by paying performance-related aid.
• Modernization of livestock farms, promotion of the welfare of productive animals, increase of productivity.
All the above objectives and all the above actions are linked and supported by the cross-cutting goal of technological upgrading, at all levels, through promotion, training, education and specialization in the primary sector, with particular emphasis on further support and development of consulting services, dissemination of knowledge and innovation.
For the preparation of the Strategic Plan of our country, the Managing Authority of the Rural Development Program and the Department of Agriculture worked diligently and diligently, in consultation and cooperation with the Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organization, as well as with other Ministries and Departments, with acad. researchers, with the Agricultural Movement, with Environmental and Non-Governmental Organizations and with other stakeholders.
In 2022, the finalization of the Strategic Plan of the Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027 will be sought, through consultations and evaluation of its content by the European Commission, with the aim of its approval, before 1 January 2023.