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Agriculture and rural development

EU support for small farms

More than three quarters of farm holdings in the European Union are small – below 10 hectares – with a large number being below five hectares. The small size of these farms often increases the relative administrative burden of applying for income support.

EU countries can apply the small farmers scheme (SFS), a simplified income support scheme granting a one-off payment to farmers who choose to participate. This replaces all other forms of income support payment. The maximum level of the payment is decided at national level, but may not exceed €1,250.

The small farmers scheme exempts participating farmers from greening obligations and cross-compliance sanctions are not applied to their income support payments. More information can be found through your ministry of agriculture or equivalent department.

New CAP: 2023-27

In June 2021, following extensive negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission, agreement was reached on reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). The new CAP will begin on 1 January 2023.

Under the new CAP, changes will be made to the existing income support system, with measures being taken to ensure a fairer distribution of financial support for farmers and workers across the EU. Until 2023, current income support measures will continue, in line with the provisions of the CAP transitional regulation.


Small farmers scheme
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