ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYYes
On 20 December 2014, the Italian government published Decree 14A09733 establishing the eligibility criteria and requirements of the direct income payment scheme. Under the scheme, eligible local farmers receive direct income payments under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF). The 2015-2020 budget for these Italian payments has a total value of EUR 19 billion (approx. USD 23.2 billion) established by Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013 of 20 December 2013, see related state act.
Income support measures to farmers take the form of financial grants. According to Regulation (EU) No 1307/2013, beneficiaries are active farmers that meet minimum requirements further specified by the Member States. In the case of Italy, Decree 14A09733 establishes eligibility criteria and requirements to be met by national applicants. The additional requirements are related to maintenance of agricultural surface, minimum agricultural activity, among others product-specific indications for producers of milk, meat (beef, sheep and goat), durum wheat, protein crops, rice, sugar beet, tomatoes, and olive oil. Notably, the decree opens up the support to other beneficiaries by including commercial and financial intermediaries and cooperatives in the definition of “active farmers”.
The payments system will be coordinated and managed by the Italian Agency for Agricultural Payments (AGEA in Italian). FEGA is in charge of verifying if farmers meet the eligibility criteria and coordinate with other 11 regional and/or sectoral paying agencies.
The measure entered into force on 1 January 2015 and shall be applicable during the 2015-2020 period. Previous to that, Italy was financing its income support payments primarily from the 2007-2013 budget of the EAGF which was established under a different subset of rules.
EU's CAP framework
The CAP framework is the EU-wide agricultural policy established in 1962 that is subject to reforms and new rules every six years. According to the EU, it aims to support farmers and improve agricultural productivity, ensuring a stable supply of affordable food. Under the CAP, Member States provide three main types of support to the agriculture sector: (i) income support measures, (ii) market measures; and (iii) rural development measures. The two first are primarily financed by the EAGF; whilst the third and last support type is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
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