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Policy Insights - Income support: a beneficial boost for EU farmers

More than 60% of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget is targeted to provide income support for EU farmers through a package of direct payment opportunities and funds for farms located in areas with natural or other specific constraints.

  • 2023-2027
a farm with a house and trees

A majority of the CAP budget has always been provided to European farmers through direct payments and this funding has evolved over the policy’s lifetime to become known as income support. Farmers face significant income challenges from climate and market uncertainties that the Member States recognise in their national CAP Strategic Plans (CSPs). These all contain common policy intervention tools designed to support viable farm income using direct payments and assistance for areas with natural or other specific constraints (ANC).

New features of the CAP’s income support within CSPs are designed to help promote sustainable food systems through social, environmental and climate conditionality, while also enabling a fairer distribution of financing for farmers across the EU through targeting mechanisms.

This Policy Insights article looks at the seven income support interventions available through the CSPs. It provides lots of useful links to learn more and explore relevant resources to better understand and grasp these opportunities. The article also includes an example of direct payments - CAP support for a small family farm in Spain’s Extremadura region.


EU CAP Network