Rural areas cover 52% of the EU’s territory and are home to 112 million people. They find employment not only in the agricultural sector, but also in the food industry and tourism, which employ nearly 15 million people.
In the EU, agriculture directly employs more than 10 million farmers. More than 77% of the Union’s territory is rural and home to half of its population. Overall, Europe’s agri-food industry accounts for 46 million jobs in 15 million businesses, accounting for 6% of the EU’s GDP.
Global population is expected to rise from 7.3 billion people today to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the United Nations. This means that the world will need 60% more food and 30% more water for agriculture.
The new CAP reform will fully apply in 2015. Among other changes, 30% of direct payments will now depend on farmer’s implementation of environmental measures to protect Europe’s water, soil and biodiversity. While the framework is taking effect, we are looking at a new leadership in the Commission and the European Parliament that will steer the EU’s agriculture decision for the next five years.
The European Commission confirmed on Wednesday it will provide an additional €30 million of EU funding for CAP promotion programmes starting in 2015, on top of the €60 million that is foreseen annually in the CAP budget. The new measures are aimed at alleviating the impact of Russian ban on importing certain EU agricultural products.