The total amount of direct payments under CAP 2023 is 4.875 billion euros

News - 2023.8.31

A total of 622,404 farmers and stockbreeders have submitted a single application for aid under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2023, the first year in which the National Strategic Plan for 2023-2027 is applied. These applications cover more than 22.2 million hectares declared. The extension of the deadline to 30 June has made it possible to process all applications.

The number of farms applying for support is down slightly, by 3.95%, compared to 2022, in line with the constant trend of recent decades and significantly lower than in the first two years of the previous CAP.

However, the total declared area remains stable. This is indicative of the continued economic and environmental activity of the agricultural sector in Spain, as well as its increased professionalisation. There are fewer applicant farms, but they are larger.

The total amount of direct aid for the 2023 campaign is 4.875 billion euros, which the autonomous communities will be able to pay in the form of advances from 16 October, and which will be paid in full by 30 June 2024 at the latest. The acting Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has stressed the importance of CAP income for farmers and stockbreeders, as it provides stability to agricultural activity, especially in difficult times such as those we are currently experiencing.

This year, at Spain's request, the advance payment of direct aid will be increased from 50% to 70%, which will provide greater liquidity for farmers and stockbreeders, as up to 3.5 billion euros can be paid between 16 October and 30 November, depending on the payment schedule set by each autonomous community.

The single application is the procedure for the unified submission of applications for CAP direct payments and for rural development measures granted per area or per head of livestock.

Almost all of these applications include at least one of the direct payments included in the National Strategic Plan 2023-27: basic income support for sustainability and its complementary payments (redistributive and young farmer), eco-schemes and coupled support.

Eco-schemes and related aid

The data show that farmers and stockbreeders have welcomed the eco-schemes, a measure that is the main new feature of the CAP 2023-2027, which starts to be implemented this year. 75 % of the farmers applying for aid have applied for an eco-scheme. This proportion is significantly higher in terms of area, as the 19.1 million hectares for which an eco-scheme has been requested represents 87% of the total area declared in the single application, which is higher than planned for in the strategic plan.

Thus, for example, the eco-schemes have led to an increase in areas under spontaneous or inert cover in woody crops, reaching 2.4 million hectares (the figure for the area under cover had stabilised over the last 5 years at around 1.3 million hectares). In addition, 6.7 million hectares have been used for the maintenance of extensive livestock pastures; 5.4 million hectares have been used for rotational grazing, including leguminous plants in these rotations; approximately 1.4 million hectares have been used for direct sowing and 3 million hectares have been used for biodiversity-preserving agricultural areas.

As for coupled support, which is linked to the production of particular crops, the area requested remains stable compared to 2022 for crops such as rice, industrial tomatoes and cotton, while it has increased for sugar beet.

The data published show that, thanks to the efforts of farmers and stockbreeders, collaborating entities and public administrations, the first stage of aid applications in this first year of application of the new CAP has concluded satisfactorily, the minister emphasised.

Detailed reports on the single application and the preview of area requested for 2023, broken down by autonomous community and aid, can be consulted on the Spanish Agricultural Guarantee Fund (FEGA) website.

Non official translation