Germany’s plan for agriculture funding puts focus on organic farming
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s new government has handed in the “strategic plan” on how it would distribute the 30 billion euros in subsidies from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for review by the European Commission, the agriculture ministry (BMEL) announced. The submission came several weeks after the deadline, due to the change in government in December 2021. The ministry – now led by the Green Party’s Cem Özdemir -- introduced some last-minute changes to the plan that include “around one in two euros will be used for environmental, climate and biodiversity protection objectives” in the 2023-2027 funding period. More money will be channelled into organic farming support both by giving organic farmers access to the voluntary “eco-schemes” that reward land managers for certain environment and climate-related farming techniques, and by shifting more money into the 2nd pillar of the CAP, which funds rural development. These redeployed funds are to be earmarked for sustainable agriculture, in particular for agri-environmental and climate measures, the strengthening of animal welfare and water protection. Around 20 percent of the funds are reserved for the promotion of organic farming alone.
Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) said in a joint comment that the strategic plan is bound to miss the targets for climate protection, biodiversity restoration and the expansion of organic farming and would likely not be approved by the European Commission. They call for more investment in organic farming to achieve the share of 25 percent by 2030 as envisaged by the EU’s Green Deal and the 30 percent share specified in the German government’s coalition agreement.
The area used for organic agricultural production in the EU continues to increase. It covered 14.7 million hectares in 2020, up from 9.5 million hectares in 2012, a rise of 56 percent. In 2020, the total organic area in the EU corresponded to 9.1 percent of the total utilised agricultural area (UAA).