On Thursday, September 7, the European Commission (EC) approved the amendments to Latvia’s Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan (CAP SP) for 2023-2027 developed by the Ministry of Agriculture (MofA).
Latvia’s CAP SP for 2023 – 2027 is a medium-term policy planning document that determines support priorities and support instruments in the field of agriculture, as well as rural development. When starting the implementation of the CAP SP and developing the national legislation for the application of the CAP SP, it was found that it is necessary to improve several conditions and measures (interventions) for receiving support in order to ensure their correct administration and application according to Latvian agro-climatic conditions. Therefore, on May 9, 2023, a draft amendment to the CAP SP was submitted to the EC.
Amendments have been made to improve:
- definitions of agricultural land maintenance and crops;
- the conditions of good agricultural and environmental standards, such as the preservation of perennial grasses, sowing on steep slopes and the creation of landscape elements in arable land;
- the conditions of eco-schemes, assuming that from 2024, farmers will have the opportunity to receive eco-scheme support for a wider range of crops;
- several rural development interventions. For example, in the agro-environmental and LEADER interventions the conditions for appropriate receipt have been specified, but in the intervention LA6 “Support for young farmers to start a business” the period of obtaining education was extended from 3 to 4 years. Likewise, the monitoring period for rural development interventions has been reduced from five to three years for small projects (with the amount of attributable costs up to 50 000 euros);
- sectoral intervention measures and in the future, when developing operational programs of producer organizations, it would be possible to also include covering staff and administrative costs related to the management of the operational fund or the preparation, implementation and follow-up of the operational program.
With these amendments, no new support measures (interventions) were introduced in the CAP SP, nor were any measures deleted. The amendments made do not affect the goals and results indicators originally planned and indicated in the CAP SP, and the developed financial plan is not changed.
Currently, the specialists of the Ministry of Agriculture continue active work on the development of national legislation in order to implement the CAP SP amendments and start their implementation.
We draw your attention to the fact that already this year, amendments to the rules of direct payments come into force, which cancel the requirement to harvest the grass mass by September 15, except for biologically valuable grasslands. The defined reference area of perennial grasses has also been reduced. Also, by carrying out winter sowing on steep slopes until September 20, the farmer can choose the most suitable sowing direction.
On the other hand, the changes in the intervention LA6 “Support for young farmers to start a business” are already included in the approved regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers on the implementation of the intervention.
2.5 billion euros have been earmarked for the implementation of the CAP SP for 2023-2027, where the largest part of funding, or 1,714 billion euros, will be allocated in the form of direct payments. 0,791 billion euros are earmarked for rural development measures and 10,1 million euros for support measures of the common market organization.