Minister calls for increased agriculture funding

Minister calls for increased agriculture funding

Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou called for an increase in the de minimis threshold regarding state aid in agriculture to €50,000 per single enterprise during the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, which was held in Luxembourg on Monday.

It should be noted that this move supported an initiative by Germany, along with 13 other Member States.

Furthermore, according to the Ministry of Agriculture press release, the main topic on the agenda of the meeting was a discussion on how to address the current situation in the agricultural sector.

Additionally, ministers welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of the European Commission’s proposals on agriculture on 24th April.

“The proposals include provisions for increasing agricultural production and ensuring additional agricultural income, as well as special arrangements for small farms which will benefit more than 80 per cent of the total of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) applicants. The ministers also referred to additional tools for simplifying the CAP and ways to strengthen the position of farmers in the food chain,” the press release adds.

Panayiotou welcomed the adoption of the Commission’s proposals, which were also Cyprus’ positions, but emphasised the need for further steps to simplify the CAP.

She also supported the possibility of providing additional support to farmers, through measures to deal with any crisis that may arise, potentially through using a part of appropriations made for the strategic plans.

The Minister additionally noted that “to ensure the full absorption of EU and member state funding of the CAP and better benefit the farmers, there should be flexibility during the reallocation of funds between measures.”

Moreover, Cyprus also supported, together with other Member States, the extension of the Temporary Framework for State Aid until the end of the year.

In addition, supporting Germany’s initiative together with 13 other member states, Cyprus called for the de minimis threshold under State aid in agriculture to be increased to €50,000 per single enterprise, according to the press release.

Panayiotou also welcomed the actions proposed by the Commission to strengthen the position of farmers in the agri-food chain and noted that Cyprus has already proceeded with local interventions and actions to ensure a fair income for farmers.

During a working lunch, Ministers were briefed by Professor Strohschneider on the progress of the initiative for a “Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture in the EU”.

In her remarks, the Minister highlighted the essential role of farmers in food production and meeting EU environmental objectives and stressed the importance of sufficient support for agriculture through a simplified institutional framework.

Moreover, Panayiotou added that “climate change makes the immediate establishment of new crisis response tools an imperative and noted that this can be done either through new appropriations or by reallocating unspent appropriations.”

According to the Minister, “the new CAP must ensure the succession across generations so as not to jeopardise the EU’s food security, as fewer and fewer young people are taking up farming as a profession. She also noted the need to fund research and innovation and to promote practices that enhance the sustainability and resilience of agriculture.”

Regarding trade-related agricultural issues, ministers were briefed on current developments regarding the EU’s trade relations with third countries.

In her intervention, Panayiotou supported the efforts to promote these trade agreements and pointed out the need to formulate a balanced framework that enhances food security and ensures the competitiveness of agriculture and the sustainability of the EU food systems.(Cyprus Mail)

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