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Funding Opportunity for Rice Farmers Must Be Taken

22 May 2013

SPAIN – Local authorities are being urged by the Valencia Farmers Association to secure European funding for agri-environment payments for rice growers in Valencia.

Targeted subsidy payments for the wetlands of L'Albufera and Pego-Oliva could benefit from a funding continuation to support the interlocking agricultural systems that operate in the Valencia wetlands.

These parts of Valencia are home to rice growers who balance complex, integrated systems where citrus operations, vineyards, forestry and animal welfare considerations have to be taken into account to manage a functioning and profitable business.

According to a EU regulation draft, the European Parliament will pass funding amendment by which Member States will still be able to receive subsidies for rural development next year.

The decision will maintain payments at 2008 levels.

However, in order to receive the payments, local authorities need to lobby for funding supports.

"We hear very positive news about continuing payments," said Valencia Farmers Association President, Christopher Aguado. "Now we need Madrid and Valencia to make sure they apply for the financial support instruments. We will be very attentive to the developments."

Thousands of farms could benefit from the €20 million funding package, which Mr Aguado described as 'too good to miss'.

Subsidies are expected to be drawn from a pot of 54 per cent EU funding, 39 per cent national government funding and seven per cent regional government funding.


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