Malta’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020
Structure of the Programme
The 2007-2013 comprised various measures falling under one of the identified 5 priority axes. The first notable difference in the new RDP sees the removal of this axis structure, replaced by 6 EU priority areas, sub-divided in a total of 18 focus areas. The consultation process and preparations leading up to the drafting of the new programme also identified 5 main needs for the Maltese agriculture sector, namely:
Water, wastes and energy
Maltese quality produce
Landscape and environment
Wider rural economy and quality of life
These needs were derived from the feedback received during consultation with numerous stakeholders in the sector, from a SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis of the sector which was carried out, and on the basis of the aforementioned EU priorities. The menu of measures selected by the Managing Authority to be programmed under the RDP, was that which was deemed most suitable to address positively the identified 5 needs for Malta and Gozo.
Other key differences between the 2007-2013 and 2014-2020 programme include:
A minimum of 30% of the total RDP budget will be earmarked for actions which contribute to the achievement of EU-wide climate change targets
The new programme will not support interventions carried out to conform to obligatory standards, unless these standards are newly introduced throughout the life of the programme
The eligibility of expenditure which can be claimed by beneficiaries will commence on the date of signing of the relevant grant agreement, not before
The total RDP budget has also increased when compared to the 2007-2013 funds. The programme will now carry a total of almost €130 million, an increase of around €30 million from the previous RDP. 25% of this total will be covered by the Maltese Government, while the remaining amount will be provided by the European Commission under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
Whilst all measures in the new programme are somewhat different to the previous ones, the framework of the more important schemes under the 2007-2013 RDP has been replicated and enhanced further. Equivalents of the most important 2007-2013 measures such as M111, M114, M115, M121, M123, M125, M212 and M214, as well as LEADER will all form part of the new programme, under different titles, and with some slight differences with respect to eligibility conditions and selection criteria, as well as eligible costs financeable under each individual scheme.
Furthermore, the new programme will see the launch of a set of entirely new measures for Malta, namely:
Measure 6 – Farm & Business Development
This measure will be split between two sub-measures, the granting of start-up aid for young farmers, and support for the development of non-agricultural activities.
The young farmer measures aims to incentivise farmers, who are 40 years or younger, to set up and develop new and sustainable agricultural holdings, while at the same time contributing to creating a younger farming population. The latter sub-measure will provide funding to beneficiaries who are set up in rural areas, but wish to diversify into non-agricultural activities.
Measure 8 – Investments in forest area development and improvement of the viability of forests
This measure will provide support for three main operations:
Afforestation activities; that is, the planting of indigenous trees
Maintenance operations with respect to the protection of habitats and biodiversity
Investments in public amenities
Given that there are no real forest areas in Malta and Gozo, the RDP has established a specific definition for areas eligible for support under this measure. Areas must have a minimum size of 0.5 Ha, and have a minimum tree cover of 10% of the total area. This tree cover may be achieved through afforestation support.
Measure 16 – Cooperation
This new measure aims at incentivising the development of cooperation between a more diverse range of actors in the agricultural sector. A number of sub-measures have been programmed under this measure, which will mainly support the following cooperative actions:
The European Innovation Partnership (EIP) – a new initiative which aims to support innovative cooperative projects
Network for rural tourism
Development of short supply chains and local markets
Joint actions related to climate change
The results of each innovative, cooperative action carried out through support under this measure, must be disseminated publicly through the EIP network.
Measure 17 – Risk Management
The risk management measure will provide support to cover up to a maximum of 65% of the premium paid by beneficiaries for crop, animal and plant insurance coverage. This is something which is totally new for Malta, as no insurance company has offered such coverage in the past.
Coverage will mainly cater for damages caused by adverse climatic events, animal and plant diseases, pest infestations, and environmental incidents.
You may access Malta’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by clicking here: Malta’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020
RDP 2014-2020 Factsheet
'Lista ta’ Miżuri – Il-Programm tal-Iżvilupp Rurali għal Malta 2014-2020’
Environmental Report – SEA of the Rural Development Programme for Malta 2014-2020
Commission Implementing Decision C(2015) 8405
Modified (draft) RDP Version