Measure 222 in the CAP 2007-2013
In the last CAP programming period (2007-2013) agroforestry was included as one of the measures of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD, Regulation 1698/2005, Article 44). Indeed, the cost of establishment of agroforestry systems in agricultural land could be funded to a maximum of 70% (regular land), 80% (regions with handicap) or 85% (outermost regions), as part of Axis 2: improving the environment and the countryside.
These agroforestry systems coud combine trees with either arable or grazing land, but it was specifically excluded to use Christmas trees and fast growing species for short term cultivation. It was Member States who had to determine the maximum number of trees per hectare according to their own characteristics.
However, the initial uptake of the measures in the RDPs was relatively limited, as only 17 of the 88 RDPs existing in the EU included it. These were (as shown on the map):
- National programmes:
- Subnational programmes:
- France (2: Guyana, Guadeloupe)
- Portugal (2: mainland, Açores)
- Regional programmes:
- Spain (6: Galicia, Asturias, Aragón, Extremadura, Andalucía, Canarias)
- Italy (4: Sicilia, Lazio, Umbria, Marche)
- United Kingdom (1: Northern Ireland)
Note: later in the period, mainland France, Flanders and a few other countries/regions included Measure 222 in their RDPs.
The initial expectation was that this Measure 222 could be applied in 62000 ha of agricultural land by 3400 farmers, with an average of 18 ha per beneficiary. The global expenditure foreseen through these 17 RDPs was a total of €46.8 million, distributed as follows:
- Private: € 14.4 million
- EAFRD: € 22.7 million
- National co-financing: € 9.7 million
Unfortunately, towards the end of the programming period, the effective uptake of Measure 222 was still very poor. Only Hungary and Italy expended over 10% of their initially planned budget for this measure. The application in other countries was mostly testimonial.