RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES AND ORGANIC FARMING IN ITALY
Gianluigi Cardone and Patrizia Pugliese
In recent decades, rural development programmes (RDPs), under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), have been the most important instrument for fostering organic farming in Italy’s regions. Most regions prioritise the expansion of organic farming in order to increase the positive environmental impact of the action, in compliance with the RDP objectives.
The new CAP 2014-2020 will strengthen the central role of organic agriculture in the fight against climate change, the protection of the environment and the preservation of biodiversity. The organic farming measure may also face competition from other agri-environment-climate schemes concerning integrated pest management and other related environment-friendly practice) under the minimum spending requirement for the environment in Pillar 2. Italy has contributed to the development of organic agriculture through its National Strategic Plan, regional RDPs, the National Action Plan on organic agriculture and organic products, and through specific research programmes in the field of organic farming. > more
POLICY SUPPORT FOR ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN EU CANDIDATE AND POTENTIAL CANDIDATE COUNTRIES
Marie Reine Bteich, Lina Al-Bitar, Patrizia Pugliese and Virginia Belsanti
Candidate and Potential candidate (CPC) countries are relative new comers to organic griculture comparing to EU Member States. EU accession is a key driver for CPC countries in their continued investments in market consolidation,institution building and the harmonisation of laws and regulations, and in updating their statistics.
However, the administrative fragmentation, the limited research, extension and human capital development, the market vulnerability and the limited financial resources all constitute a substantial challenge for these countries to overcome. In the short and medium term, the inclusion of organic farming schemes in EU-funded rural development programmes represents a promising opportunity for CPC countries, but it also raises big challenges, especially in countries where the interaction between the different agriculture and rural development stakeholders is still relatively poor. > more
ORGANIC ACTION PLANS: MAINSTREMING ORGANIC FARMING IN PUBLIC POLICY
Jürn Sanders and Otto Schmid
In several countries, different organic support measures are combined and coordinated within an organic action plan. Typically, organic action plans are based on a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the organic sector. They comprise a balanced mix of different supply-oriented policy measures (such as area payments, information for farmers, etc.) and demand-oriented policy measures (such as marketing aids, consumer information campaigns, etc.) tailored to local conditions. The action plan mechanism is particularly useful, because efforts to develop the organic sector seek to address and enforce the growth capacity of the entire sector. When designing organic action plans, it is necessary to recognise the high interdependency that exists between individual public support measures. Their interaction seems to be decisive for the development of the organic sector. Furthermore, it is important to remember that it is not only the organic farming policies that matter, but that policies from other areas can influence the effectiveness of organic farming support measures. For this reason it is important that the organic action plan is embedded in the national agricultural policy. > more
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