The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Water of the Government of the Canary Islands have published a plan for new assistance for organic production within the Rural Development Program of the Canary Islands (PDR) 2014-2020 that seeks accommodate all organic farmers and ranchers across the archipelago that meet the requirements established in the base guidelines, it was announced this summer. This sub-sector may receive up to €3.8 million euros over five years due to the two million euro increase in funds allocated to this measure, managed by the Canarian Executive.
The subsidy, which did not exist in previous programs, aims to support a growing and sustainable production system in the Archipelago that currently covers 1,308 operators and 6,897 hectares of cultivated land. Over four years, from 2013 to 2017, growth of 34.5% was seen in the number of “green” operators and a 4.72% increase in the land area under cultivation.
The intention is to maintain ecological agricultural practices and methods for arable crops both dry and irrigated; fruit trees whether dry, stone or seed; citrus fruits; bananas outdoor and greenhouse horticultural; vineyards and tomatos. Likewise, the hectares in use for production of fodder and grains for animal feed and head of cattle in organic production is to subsidised.
The agricultural practices that promote organic production, such as avoiding use of phytosanitary products and synthetic fertilisers, crop rotation, the use of organic fertilisers, adequate livestock loading, all contribute, among other positive actions, to the improvement of island soil and water quality, to mitigate climate change, promoting the recovery and increase of biological activity in the soil, to prevent erosion and to improve the biodiversity of the environment.
This subsidy is being 85% financed by the European Union, 10.5% by the Government of the Canary Islands and from the Spanish State by 4.5%.