Councilors of Agriculture of all the autonomous communities and the Ministry of Agriculture will try to reach an agreement this Wednesday on the elaboration of the strategic plan in which the distribution of the more than 47,000 million euros available for the period from 2023 to 2027 will be set. in the new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The meeting begins in a climate of division between the autonomies and rejection of Atocha’s proposal in aspects such as the convergence of aid processes, regionalization, redistributive policy, eco-schemes, the definition of the professional farmer recipient of the funds or the elimination of individual historical rights.
Regional councilors of the branch such as the socialist Francisco Martínez Arroyo, from Castilla-La Mancha, or the independent Joaquín Olona, from Aragon, agree on the need to eliminate the current territorial grievances and advance as soon as possible, not for 2029, towards a total convergence in payments with the family farm and agricultural professionals as the main beneficiaries, as well as with the elimination of current historical individual rights. “It does not make any sense,” says Martín Arroyo, “that payments for individual historical rights continue to be made based on productions that in many cases are no longer being cultivated. It is necessary to advance in a faster way in the convergence of aid and a more important reduction in the number of regions ”.
The current proposal, broadly speaking, contemplates that, of the funds from direct payments (almost 5,000 million per year), 60% are used as payment of basic income assistance and 12% as complementary redistributive aid. The official proposal indicates the destination of at least 3% of direct aid both to support generational renewal and to give greater support to women through funds from the first pillar or direct payments for the second pillar or for rural development. The complementary aid to the income of the young people will be 2% of these funds and 25% to support eco-schemes or voluntary environmental measures that can be adopted by livestock farmers beyond the community requirements. Payments as direct aid linked to production will be 12.4%, plus 1.95% only for protein crops. The olive grove is added to the sectorial aids where other productions such as wine are already found, with 0.62% of the funds equivalent to 30 million euros.
Regarding the recipients of the aid, they must be active farmers, be affiliated with the Special System of Agrarian Self-Employed Workers or that a significant part of their total income, 25%, comes from agricultural activity. Those who receive aid equal to or less than 5,000 euros to support part-time agriculture will also be considered professionals. At this point, airport surfaces, real estate land or sports facilities such as golf courses are excluded, as is already the case.
100,000 euro ceiling
Basic income support will have a ceiling of 100,000 euros, although from 60,000 euros there will be reductions: between 60,000 and 74,999 euros will be reduced by 25%; between 75,000 and 89,999 euros the cut will be 50%; and in the section between 90,000 and 99,999 euros the reduction will be 85%. In addition, aid will only be paid when it is equal to or greater than 300 euros.
Basic income support will be differentiated by zones with a model based on 20 regions compared to the current 50 on four types of surfaces: rainfed crops, irrigated crops, permanent crops and permanent pastures. The goal is for convergence in the same region to be 85% by 2026 and at the last minute the goal of reaching 100% by 2029 has been incorporated.
The proposal contemplates the redistributive payment and complementary support to the first hectares of a farm for an amount equal to 20% of the amount of the basic aid assigned to that region. Although if the beneficiary is a woman it increases by 5%. A supplementary aid for young people is also contemplated consisting of 100% of the amount corresponding to the regional average value of the basic aid up to a maximum of 90 hectares for five years and 10% more if it is a woman.
In the proposal presented by the ministry a year ago at the Sector Conference, supported by 11 autonomous communities, Agriculture proposed to reach full convergence in 2025. Once that objective was achieved, Atocha contemplated eliminating individual historical individual rights to replace them ” for less complex, bureaucratic and speculative surface payments to facilitate land mobility and particularly for the youngest ”, something that does not appear in the current proposal.
In this change of positions, from other autonomies, the influence of an important part of the Andalusian agricultural sector can be seen, as it already happened in the application of the 2014 reform based on the continuity of payments for historical rights and a minimum convergence in the payment rights that the current sludge has brought.