The European Commission is offering support to farmers faced with the waves of drought afflicting Europe. Firstly, farmers will be able to receive a higher percentage of their direct and rural development payments in advance. Secondly, to be able to feed their animals, they will be granted greater flexibility to use land that would normally not be used for production.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, has said: «These prolonged climate conditions are worrying for our farmers. The Commission remains in close contact with the Member States and is evaluating the situation on the ground. As always, we stand ready to assist farmers affected by drought. That is why we have decided to implement higher advance payments and derogations from certain greening rules to make it easier to produce animal feed. »
In addition to support available under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), two decisions have been taken to assist farmers:
- Farmers will be able to receive higher advance payments. Up to 70% of their direct payments and 85% of rural development payments will be available as of mid-October to improve their cash flow situation.
- Derogations from certain ‘«greening»’ requirements will be allowed. These derogations will apply to crop diversification and ecological focus area rules on land lying fallow. Consideration is also being given to the adoption of other types of derogation from ‘«greening»’, so as to grant farmers greater flexibility to produce fodder.
In addition to continuously evaluating and analysing the drought situation and its impact thanks to the European satellites, the Commission is in contact with all Member States to receive updated information on the impact of the drought on farmers at more local level.
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