The principal behind the Plan for Competitiveness and Adapting Farms is to aid in the investments made by farms. This tool is implemented by each of the rural regional development plans in France, over which regions have management authority . Since 2018, it is integrated in the tools of the agricultural component of the overall French investment plan dedicated to responding to the issue of modernizing French farms. The plan allows for modernizing the methods of production and innovation, and combined economic, environmental, health and social performance, all while encouraging new farmers.
Between 2015 and 2019, the global annual fund dedicated to the program has almost doubled from 313 million euros in 2015 to reach 621 million euros in 2019. The primary financers of the plan are the Ministry of Agriculture, French regions, and the European Union, to which are added other financial aid sources like water agency and French départements.
The French central government and regions share a common strategy for the plan, structured around the four following priorities:
- An essential priority: Livestock. Modernizing animal agriculture is the first priority of the plan, in light of the particular needs in this sector, subject to elevated investment costs with the particular issue of buildings, improving working conditions, and the food self-sufficiency of the herd. Something new: now the poultry and pork industries are eligible for these funds, which until now were excluded.
- A priority of the plant sector: Environmental and economic performance research, through inputs management and the protection of natural resources (soil erosion, water, biodiversity, etc.). It is also about responding to particular problems for certain sectors: orchard replanting, investing in greenhouses, investing in hemp, flax and potato and rice starch to avoid their disappearance in favor of grains.
- A priority for improving energy performance of farms, to reduce production costs and promote investments in saving energy and producing renewable energy on farms, notably through methanation.
- An across-the-board priority: Encouraging projects that are part of the agro-ecological framework.