For 2014/2024, the CAP budget in France will reach $10 billion annually for direct payments from the first pillar and $1.8 billion for the second pillar. The French Ministry for Agriculture, Food Industry and Forestry, Stéphane Le Foll, immediately welcomed this agreement, leading to a “greener and fairer CAP” that promotes diversity in the agricultural sector.

A fairer CAP

The priority for the next CAP will be to redistribute aids for large and small farms, and to support jobs in the agricultural sector. Direct payments for large-scale farmers will be capped or given at smaller rates. The member states will also have the opportunity to implement special programs to help small-scale farmers who received a maximum of $1,600 of direct payments.

© Min.Agri.Fr

© Min.Agri.Fr

A greener CAP

Greening was the second largest challenge of the CAP reform. Farmers will need to comply with crop regulations to receive 30 percent of their direct payments. Failure to meet these compliances will result in an additional fee equivalent to 25 percent of their direct payments.

EU farmers will need to comply with three requirements:

  • Maintaining crop rotation: On farms larger than 75 acres, the main crop cannot exceed 75 percent of the agricultural land, and 95 percent in cases of two main crops. For farms smaller than 75 acres, only two different types of crops may be grown, and the main crop cannot exceed 75 percent of the agricultural area.
  • Maintaining permanent grassland: Farmers will need to maintain more permanent grassland areas than in 2012. They can convert a maximum of 5 percent of the grassland into crop area.
  • Maintaining ecologically valuable land, by retaining uncultivated soil, terraces, buffer tripes, agro-forestry, permanent crops, etc.

A CAP oriented to young farmers

Member states should provide farmers younger than 40 years old with an additional payment over a maximum period of five years, without exceeding 2 percent of the national funds for farm programs.
Following the three-part agreement reached on June 26, draft regulations will be enacted by the European Council and the European Parliament.