New 'family farm' status to benefit some 100,000 farmers

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 10-08-2018 14:58:00 · 0 Comments
New 'family farm' status to benefit some 100,000 farmers

Portugal’s Ministry of Agriculture has estimated that around 100,000 farmers, representing 40% of the country’s total, will benefit from being classed as family agriculture (Estatuto de Agricultura Familiar), under legislation that has now taken effect.

“Family agriculture represents over 240,000 farms, so 94% of total farms, covering 54% of the total agricultural area in use and more than 80% of total agricultural work,” said the ministry in a statement. According to the National Statistics Institute, it added, around 30% of family-run farms have never received any European Union direct aid under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

According to the ministry, the programme for family farms takes an approach of “positive discrimination”, aiming to contribute to “rural territories being more valued, from a perspective of sustainability and social and of greater social and territorial cohesion.”

Portugal's government enshrined the status of family agriculture in law on Tuesday, publishing the decree-law in the state journal on Tuesday, following a period of public consultation in December and January.

Farms that have this status will be eligible for access to public policy measures to support agricultural and forestry activities and in the ambit of programmes financed by EU funds, as well as exceptional measures that contribute to improved “territorial planning and the preservation of agricultural and forestry activity in disadvantaged areas.”

They will also enjoy simpler rules for the licensing of production units and other bureaucracy, as well as access to funds for training and discounts on diesel for farmers.

To apply for the status, those in charge of farms must be aged 18 or over, have taxable income of no more than the fourth bracket for personal income tax, and may not receive more than €5,000 from CAP aid. Candidates must also be in charge of a farm whose buildings are "rustic or mixed" and on which manpower is at least 50% family.

A commission has been set up to oversee the programme, to be chaired by the minister, Luís Capoulas Santos, with representatives from various other relevant government departments, as well as of the Azores and Madeira regional governments and the main farming confederations.


Be the first to comment on this article
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.