Agroforestry in the new CAP

In the new CAP, agroforestry will receive support through Pillar II. Indeed, Article 23 of the new Rural Development Regulation 1305/2013 is devoted to the establishment of agroforestry systems. For the purposes of this Article, agroforestry systems are defined as land use systems in which trees are grown in combination with agriculture on the same land.

Private land holders, municipalities and their associations may be beneficiaries of these aids, which will cover not only the establishment, but also the maintenance costs for 5 years, at a rate of 80% of the amount of eligible investments.

The minimum and maximum number of trees per hectare shall be determined by the Member States taking account of local pedo-climatic and environmental conditions, forestry species and the need to ensure sustainable agricultural use of the land.

It now depends on Members States and regions to use this article to adopt agroforestry measures in their Rural Development Programmes.

To facilitate this, the European Commission has published this Measure fiche, which provides useful guidelines to Member States, but does not represent a binding legal interpretation of Article 23. However, this is an important official document that can be used to put pressure on national authorities, especially because the content has been jointly discussed and agreed by the European Commission and Member State.