Brussels plans green EU farming policy

October 7, 2011
In a radical overhaul of its controversial Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the EU plans a greener, fairer farm policy by tying subsidies to environmental concerns, according to documents seen by AFP.

In a radical overhaul of its controversial Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the EU plans a greener, fairer farm policy by tying subsidies to environmental concerns, according to documents seen by AFP.

The documents outline a proposed reform of the CAP from January 2014 to be presented Wednesday by the European Union's Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos.

Among his proposals is a call for 30 percent of EU farm subisidies to be tied to respect for the environment.

These measures include -- planting at least three varieties, with no more than 70 percent of a farmer's land used for a single crop -- and setting aside seven percent as havens for plants, animals and insects.

To even out in the interests of , payouts to farmers would be capped at 300,000 euros ($424,000) per year. In addition, levies would be applied progressively on all payments exceeding 150,000 euros.

Big farms with a large number of workers could win exemptions as salaries could be deducted from the handouts, according to the proposals.

The reforms are part of wide changes to the bloc's CAP, which traditionally accounts for around 40 percent of its annual spending of nearly 140 billion euros.

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