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Agroforestry in the current Rural Development Programme of the CAP 2014-2020


In the new CAP, agroforestry will receive support through Pillar II. Indeed, Article 23 of the new Rural Development Regulation 1305/2013 is devoted to the establishment of agroforestry systems. For the purposes of this Article, agroforestry systems are defined as land use systems in which trees are grown in combination with agriculture on the same land and further explained in the Agroforestry Measure Fiche: “Agroforestry means land-use systems and practices where woody perennials are deliberately integrated with crops and/or animals on the same parcel or land management unit without the intention to establish a remaining forest stand. The trees may be arranged as single stems, in rows or in groups, while grazing may also take place inside parcels (silvoarable agroforestry, silvopastoralism, grazed or intercropped orchards) or on the limits between parcels (hedges, tree lines).” (see in this link)

Private land holders, municipalities and their associations may be beneficiaries of these aids, which will cover not only the establishment, but also the maintenance costs for 5 years, at a rate of 80% of the amount of eligible investments.

The minimum and maximum number of trees per hectare shall be determined by the Member States taking account of local pedo-climatic and environmental conditions, forestry species and the need to ensure sustainable agricultural use of the land.

It now depends on Members States and regions to use this article to adopt agroforestry measures in their Rural Development Programmes.

To facilitate this, the European Commission has published this Measure fiche, which provides useful guidelines to Member States, but does not represent a binding legal interpretation of Article 23. However, this is an important official document that can be used to put pressure on national authorities, especially because the content has been jointly discussed and agreed by the European Commission and Member State.

The Omnibus regulation launched at the end of 2017 has improved the measure 8.2 in those areas that already have agroforestry, as measure 8.2 can be used to improve already existing agroforestry and not only for new established lands. Article 23 is amended as follows: Measure 8.2. is now under the new name of Article 23

‘Article 23 Establishment, regeneration or renovation of agroforestry systems’ and indicates that shall cover the costs of establishment, regeneration and/or renovation and an annual premium per hectare to cover the costs of maintenance for a maximum period of five years.’

A set of recommendations for the current CAP that may be useful in the next CAP could be seen in the AGFORWARD policy report participated by EURAF presented at the European Commission and European Parliament headquarters in Brussels at the end of 2017 that can be seen in the following link.


Further reading:

Mosquera-Losada, M.R., Santiago Freijanes, J.J., Pisanelli, A., Rois, M., Smith, J., den Herder, M., Moreno, G., Lamersdorf, N., Ferreiro-Domínguez, N., Balaguer, F., Pantera, A., Papanastasis, V., Rigueiro-Rodríguez, A., Aldrey, J.A., Gonzalez-Hernández, P., Fernández-Lorenzo, J.L., Romero-Franco, R., Lampkin, N., Burgess, P.J. (2017). Deliverable 8.24: How can policy support the appropriate development and uptake of agroforestry in Europe? 7 September 2017. 21 pp.

Mosquera-Losada, M.R., Santiago Freijanes, J.J., Pisanelli, A., Rois, M., Smith, J., den Herder, M., Moreno, G., Malignier, N., Mirazo, J.R., Lamersdorf, N., Ferreiro-Domínguez, N., Balaguer, F., Pantera, A., Rigueiro-Rodríguez, A., Gonzalez-Hernández, P., Fernández-Lorenzo J.L., Romero-Franco, R., Chalmin, A., Garcia de Jalon, S., Garnett, K., Graves, A., Burgess, P.J. (2016). Extent and success of current policy measures to promote agroforestry across Europe.Deliverable 8.23 for EU FP7 Research Project: AGFORWARD 613520. (8 December 2016). 95 pp.