€167 million in investments in the agricultural sector
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights Anton Refalo and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi launched a public consultation document related to the Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan (CAP SP) for Malta for the years 2023-2027. This consultation document is part of a series of public consultation documents on Malta’s proposals for investing the record allocation of €2.27 billion in European Union Funds for the years 2021-2027.
Minister Anton Refalo explained “as Minister responsible for agriculture I was able to represent the interests of Maltese and Gozitan farmers during the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) negotiations for the coming years. During these negotiations, we made sure that the interests of Malta and Gozo were safeguarded. Negotiations were very difficult but we managed to keep the Voluntary Couple Support Derogation.”
Minister Anton Refalo concluded by explaining how “I firmly believe that farmers must be helped financially in order to remain competitive in the European market.”
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi indicated that the total budget from CAP for 2023-2027, added to the local co-financing, was some €167 million (excluding Technical Assistance). This plan will cover the whole territory of the Maltese Islands and will build upon support offered via CAP measures, direct payments and schemes; whilst 10% of the whole expenditure will go towards supporting initiatives in this sector for Gozo. He explained how the CAP SP will provide funding and support from 2023 to the end of 2027 and how this was developed following a series of meetings, evidence-gathering and discussions with relevant stakeholders and Government entities, all held since 2019 and in line with Malta’s Agricultural Policy 2018.
Parliamentary Secretary Zrinzo Azzopardi also outlined that the CAP SP is in line with the European Policies and Regulations for the same time-period and will support all three general objectives set in the regulatory framework.
The first general objective, with an indicative allocation of €67 million is designed to foster a smart, competitive, resilient, and diversified agricultural sector ensuring long-term food security.
A further indicative €75 million have been allocated towards the second objective, aimed at supporting and strengthening environmental protection including biodiversity and climate action. This objective is also aimed at contributing towards achieving the environmental and climate-related objectives of the Union, including its commitments set under the Paris Agreement.
The third objective, with an indicative budget of €25 million, will aim to strengthen the socio-economic fabric of rural areas.
CAP SP resources will primarily be funded through the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
Stakeholders and the general public are encouraged to participate in this consultation process by submitting their comments and suggestions via email on email@example.com or by post addressed to the Director General, Strategy and Implementation Division, EU Funds Section, 32, House of Catalunya, Marsamxett Road, Valletta, VLT 1850 by not later than the 10th December 2021.
Additional information may be obtained from www.eufunds.gov.mt
Source: Office of the Prime Minister