Spain: #NextGenerationEU, an opportunity for farmers and fishermen

Through the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, farmers and fishermen will be eligible for €1,051 million from the European recovery fund, focusing on the modernisation of irrigation and the digital and environmental transformation of agricultural and livestock farms.

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The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food presented the actions, within the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, for the agri-food and fisheries sectors. These actions scheduled under that national plan will mobilise €1,051 million from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (the main element of the Next Generation EU fund).

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A ten policies Plan

As you can read in a previous article, the Spanish recovery plan, known as España Puede, has been designed around ten lever policies. These ten policies encompass the 30 components of the coherent investment and reform projects to modernize the country.

Most of them are horizontal in nature, i.e. for the economy as a whole; however, some of them specifically aim to promote the modernization of sectors driving the economy, such as trade, tourism, agri-food, health, the automotive industry or the public administrations.

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Lever Policy I

Within policy I “Urban and rural agenda, agricultural development and the fight against depopulation”, component number 3 set forth is “Green and digital transformation of the agri-food and fisheries industries” (Fig. 1).

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Fig. 1. Lever Policy I and its three components

The investments and reforms to be managed by the Ministry of Agriculture are structured around an Agri-Food Plan (€956 million) and a Fisheries Plan (€95 million). They are based on four objectives:

  1.  Strengthening the agri-food system
  2. Improving the functioning of the food chain
  3. Fostering innovation and energy efficiency
  4. Achieving a better use of resources, especially water resources

The Agri-food Plan

It includes five major lines of investment (Fig. 2) and five reforms.

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Fig. 2. Breakdown of investments in agriculture and food

The €956 million investments are allocated as follows:

  • Plan to improve the efficiency and sustainability of irrigation. In order to promote water saving and energy efficiency, it will have a budget of €563 million. The final objective will be to achieve the modernisation of 100,000 hectares of irrigated land.
  • Plan to boost the sustainability and competitiveness of agriculture and livestock farming, with three different lines of investment:
    • €10 million for the modernisation of animal and plant health laboratories, which are national, European and international reference centres.
    • €38 million to reinforce biosafety in nurseries and livestock farms.
    • €307 million for investments in precision agriculture, energy efficiency and circular economy. Of this amount, €83 million will be allocated to the environmental management of livestock by-products and slurry; €120 million to the modernisation of greenhouses; €25 million to investments in energy efficiency and renewable energies; and €79 million to precision agriculture and technologies 4.0.
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  • Strategy for the digitalisation of the agri-food and forestry sector and the rural environment, with an allocation of €38 million.

A summary of the five reforms that will take place in agriculture and food is shown in Fig. 3.

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Fig. 3. Agriculture and food reforms

The Fisheries Plan

In this area, reform is envisaged in the form of a major overhaul of the national regulatory framework.

Fondos agri-pesca

In terms of investment (Fig. 4), six projects are planned:

  • Modernisation of the Network of Marine Reserves of Fishing Interest: €9.9 million.
  • Promotion of fisheries and aquaculture research and support for training: €14.1 million.
  • Technological development and innovation in the fisheries and aquaculture sector: €11 million.
  • Digitalisation and use of ICT: €11 million.
  • Support for the fight against IUU fishing: €44 million.
  • Support for the financing of the sector to promote its modernisation and competitiveness: €5 million.
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Fig. 4. €95 million investment in the fisheries sector

Complementarity with other actions and policies

Fig. 5 shows other funds that supplement those described above, both the primary sector and the food and beverage industry.

Source: Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación