EC proposes allowing EU countries to pay one-off aid to farmers facing rising costs

The European Commission has proposed an exceptional measure funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to allow EU countries to pay a one-off lump sum to farmers and agri-food businesses affected by significant increases in input costs.

Such increases in prices, notably for energy, fertiliser and animal feed, are disrupting the agricultural sector and rural communities, leading to liquidity and cash flow problems for farmers and small rural businesses active in processing, marketing or development of agricultural products, the Commission said on May 20.

By directly addressing these cash-flow challenges, helping to keep them afloat, the support will address the market disturbances and thus contribute to global food security, it said.

European Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: “Farmers, with the support of the Common Agricultural Policy, continue to relentlessly prove their worth by producing food under difficult circumstances.

“After the Covid-19 pandemic, they are now being heavily hit by the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For some, survival is at stake. With this measure, the latest in a series deployed under the CAP, we support them so they can keep producing the food the world needs, care for their land and provide for their families,” Wojciechowski said.

Once adopted by the co-legislators, this measure will allow EU countries to decide to use available funds of up to five per cent of their EAFRD budget for the years 2021-2022 for direct income support for farmers and SMEs active in processing, marketing or development of agricultural products.

This represents a potential budget of 1.4 billion euro in the EU, the Commission said.

EU countries are required to target this support to beneficiaries who are most affected by the current crisis and who are engaged in circular economy, nutrient management, efficient use of resources or environmental and climate friendly production methods.

Selected farmers and SMEs could receive up to 15 000 and 100 000 euro, respectively.

The payments should be made by October 15 2023.

To make use of the possibility, EU countries will have to submit a modification to their rural development programme(s) introducing this new measure, the Commission said.

(Photo: Andreas Krappweiss/

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