News17 July 2019Brussels, BelgiumAgriculture and Rural Development
Further decrease of poverty rate in rural areas in 2017, among findings of CAP indicators update
Between 2016 and 2017, poverty rates in rural areas continued to decrease, reaching 24% in 2017. During the same period, the share of organic farming area in the EU rose to 7%. These are among the key findings of the latest update of the common agricultural policy (CAP) indicators, which contribute to the assessment of the CAP’s performance.
Part of the European Commission’s commitment to improve the CAP, the indicators that feed into the common monitoring and evaluation framework (CMEF) have been updated. Making use of 178 indicators and more than 900 sub indicators, this framework has been designed to assess how well the CAP is working towards its three primary objectives of viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action, and balanced territorial development.
The indicators have shown positive developments in relation to the CAP. The shift towards a more market-oriented CAP continues, with EU agri-food exports sustaining a strong performance worth €137.5 billion in 2018. This is the case despite a decrease in EU price competiveness in the last few years. In addition, the EU’s trade balance for agri-food products stays positive, at €21.7 billion in 2018.
As for rural areas, the latest data shows that poverty rates are declining, and fell by 2% between 2016 and 2017 (from 26% to 24%). In parallel, the employment rate in rural areas increased by 2% in the same period, from 66% to 68%.
Furthermore, the share of organic farming area continues to grow in the EU. In 2016, it represented 6.7% of total farming area in the EU, the equivalent of 11.9 million hectares. In 2017, it reached 7% of total farming area, representing 12.6 million hectares of farming area. For example, Austria is the member state with the most important share of organic farming area. Between 2016 and 2017, its share increased by a further 2%, from 21% to 23% of total farming area.
Part of the greening measures – CAP income support for farmers who follow specific farming practices that help meet environmental and climate goals -, ecological focus areas are areas of arable land that benefit biodiversity. These areas have slightly increased between 2016 and 2017, going from 11.1 million hectares in 2016 to 11.4 million hectares in 2017.