SPECIAL REPORT / Strengthening and maintain employment by supporting youth in the agricultural sector in Greece is a key priority of the new CAP Rural Development for Greece.
According to data from Eurostat , only 5.2% in Greece of culture managers are young people under 35, from 35-64 to 63.5% and 31.3% from 65 years and above.
At EU level, a total of 10.8 million farms in the EU, almost 3.5 million (31.1%) run by persons aged 65 years and above, plus 2.6 million (24.7%) aged between 55 managers 64.
The term “farm manager” refers to the person who makes decisions on a farm.
Daniel Rosario, spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, told EurActiv that in the new CFP nearly 180,000 young farmers should get a grant facility during the current programming period up to 2020.
The Rural Development for the EU
The agricultural sector in Greece contributes 3.7% to the Gross Value Added (2013) of the country. With regard to employment, agriculture accounts for 13.2% and the agro-alimentary sector is 3.3% of the total.
The land of Greece is 131 621 km², of which 82.2% is rural and lives where 44.1% of the population.
The Second Pillar of the 2014-2020 Common Agricultural Policy, Rural Development is an opportunity and a challenge for the Greek agricultural sector to adapt to new global developments.
The modernization of EU agriculture to adapt to the modern challenges of competitiveness, and while protecting the environment, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, will not be an easy task.
Moreover, the new Rural Development Programme (RDP) must ensure the creation and maintenance of employment focused on young farmers.
Greece: 23 900 young farmers will receive aid
The Rural Development Programme (RDP) for Greece was formally approved by the European Commission in December 2015, and will allocate EUR 5.9 billion for the period 2014-2020 (EUR 4.7 billion from the EU budget and 1, 2 billion euro national cofinancing).
According to the European Commission, will be allocated aid to farmers to cover 10.3% of agricultural land under contracts for biodiversity conservation, 12.1% for improving water management and 10.7% for improving land management and / or prevention of soil erosion.
It is expected that 6300 holdings receive investment support for restructuring and modernization and 23 900 young farmers will receive aid for the first installation.
H innovation has also an important role in the new CAP in Greece.
Supporting knowledge and innovation takes up over 6% of the public expenditure to the creation of around 86 640 training places for farmers and rural businesses.
Almost half of the rural population of Greece will be covered by the local development strategy, while over 10% of the rural population would benefit from improved services and ICT infrastructure. Through LEADER actions aimed at creating 2,000 new jobs. In addition, approximately 3,140 beneficiaries will receive support for investments in non-agricultural activities in rural areas, contributing in this way to create 2860 jobs.
competitiveness central role
According to the European Commission, the Greek RDP focuses mainly on enhancing farm viability and competitiveness, preservation and enhancement of ecosystems and the promotion of local development in rural areas.
Moreover, in addition to 8,300 farmers will receive support for the development of short supply chains, local markets and for promotional activities, while about 600 companies operating in the agri-food sector will receive support for investments in processing and marketing of agricultural products.
* photo [Susanne Nilsson / Flickr]