Common Agricultural Policy

Benefits of the CAP

The CAP has been providing EU citizens with a stable and safe food supply, while strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU agricultural sector. The CAP supports the agricultural sector by:

  • Providing affordable food whilst ensuring the good quality, health and safety issues of agricultural products
  • Protecting the environment and tackling climate change through innovative sustainable farming
  • Promoting jobs in the agricultural sector and improving productivity
  • Ensuring suitable living conditions for farmers   

CAP Historical timeline

1962
1984
1992
2003
2013
2020

1962

The CAP is adopted as a means to provide EU citizens with stable and safe food supply while strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of EU agriculture

 

1984

Rise in productivity; farmers grow more food than needed. Measures are introduced to lower production levels to match the market demands.

 

1992

Producer support through direct payment to farmers, encouraging farmers to be more environmentally friendly

2003

Income support is conditionally provided. Farmers are responsible for fulfilling food safety requirements, environmental & animal health and welfare standards

2013

New CAP Reform; strengthening competitiveness, sustainable farming, innovation, support for rural areas

2020

New CAP Reform; the aim is to make the CAP more responsive to current and future challenges such as climate change and generational renewal, while supporting European farmers in achieving a sustainable and competitive agricultural sector

Generational Renewal – The CAP after 2020 (2021-2027)

One of the contemporary challenges affecting the agricultural sector is the ageing of the farming population. Based on the most recent Farm Structure Survey (2016), only 11% of farm managers in the EU are younger than 40 years old. This highlights the need for generational renewal in the agricultural sector. For this reason, the new CAP provides incentives to young farmers through various support measures aimed at encouraging and making it easier for the young generation to enter the profession, as well as by creating and developing new economic activity in the sector through various support measures.

In June 2018, the EC set out proposals for how the CAP should function after 2020:

  • Implementation of a direct payment scheme for young farmers
  • Increased support rate for investments in physical assets
  • Business start-up aid for young agricultural entrepreneurs
  • Continued support to rural development programmes
  • Environmental protection and climate change mitigation
  • Promotion of innovative and sustainable technologies

Rural Development Program for Cyprus 2014-2020

The European Union has invested €485 million in the Cypriot farming sector and rural areas through the Common Agricultural Policy for the period 2014-2020. The investment has been crucial for rural development and revitalization as it has modernized agricultural holdings, protected the environment and provided basic services to almost 200,000 people living in rural areas. The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment has declared that they consider the support of young farmers as a main priority. They have implemented various supporting interventions which can be found in the measures undertaken by the RDP.

Whilst this has strengthened the competitiveness of production systems and created new jobs in the agriculture sector, Cyprus is dealing with the challenge of an ageing farming population to a greater extent than the rest of Europe, with young farmers consisting of 3,3% of all farm managers in the country. The new programming period 2021-2027 should place special focus and attention on raising awareness among the young generation on the aims and benefits of the CAP, as well as on professional opportunities in the agricultural sector. Cyprus has started the preparation of the new CAP Strategic Plan. At the moment the first draft of the SWOT analysis has been send informally to the European Commission for approval.

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