European Commission approved the CAP Strategic Plan of Malta. The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), set to start on 1 January 2023, is designed to shape the transition to a sustainable, resilient and modern European agricultural sector. Under the reformed policy, funding will be more fairly distributed among farms, with an emphasis on small- and medium-sized farms, as well as young farmers. Moreover, farmers will be supported to take up innovation, from precision farming to agro-ecological production methods. By supporting concrete actions in these and other areas, the new CAP can be the cornerstone for food security and farming communities in the European Union.
The new CAP incorporates a more efficient and effective way of working. EU countries will implement national CAP Strategic Plans, combining funding for income support, rural development and sectorial programmes. In designing its CAP Strategic Plan, each Member State chose from a wide range of interventions at EU level, tailoring and targeting them to address their specific needs and local conditions. The Commission has been assessing whether each Plan is aimed towards the ten key CAP objectives, which touch upon shared environmental, social and economic challenges. The Plans need to be in line with EU legislation and should also contribute to the EU's climate and environmental goals, as set out in the Commission's Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.
The CAP will benefit from €270 billion of EU funding for the 2023-27 period. The Plan approved today represents a total EU budget of €122 million, including €47 million dedicated to environmental and climate objectives and eco-schemes and €4.9 million to young farmers.
Malta’s agricultural sector faces several challenges due to its limited agricultural land, and natural constraints. The Maltese Plan aims at providing a fair income for farmers and workers, and improve rural conditions and infrastructure while supporting sustainable agricultural practices. Around €18.1 million of CAP funds will be allocated to stabilise farmers’ income. Additional coupled support will be provided to sectors undergoing difficulties, such as beef, dairy, sheep and tomatoes. The Plan also supports investments in infrastructure beneficial to the agricultural sector, such as the upgrade and modernisation of roads in rural areas and improved farm waste management. The Maltese Plan has a particular focus on young farmers with a start-up support of up to €100 000 for successful business plans.
In terms of environmental action, €30 million of public money will be invested to support projects to, among others, store, collect and recycle water. Malta is also aspiring to increase the share of organically farmed agricultural land in spite of the challenges this entails due to the small size and fragmentation of the fields. In general, it is foreseen that more than 4100 people will benefit from training and advice on how to be more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
More information on each Plan as well as the breakdown of their CAP budget is available in the “at a glance” documents.