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Brussels, 21 November 2007

Rural Development Plan for Wallonia (Belgium)

Region profile:

  • Size: 16,844 km².
  • 3.4 million inhabitants; half of them live in what are considered as rural areas.
  • Unemployment rate of 17% with a high share in the age group 15-24 years
  • In 2005, approximately 17,000 agricultural holdings managed 0.75 million hectares of cultivated land or 45% of the total Walloon surface. A further 32% of the surface is covered by forests.
  • The cultivated land can roughly be split into two parts: 57% are fodder crops, 38% arable crops.
  • Around 19% of all farms are managed on part-time basis.
  • Some 37% of the UAA is classified as less-favoured area. Natura 2000 sites cover some 13% of the total Walloon territory; 30% of the forest area and 5% of the UAA is under Natura 2000 status.
  • The food sector is very diversified; its main components are bakery products, meat, drinks, dairy products and sugar. Organic farming only represents a minor share of the agriculture output (around 1%).

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile

The overall objectives were chosen in accordance with the Community Strategic Guidelines (CSG) and the National Strategy Plan and are:

  • Towards a more competitive agriculture sector by responding to market fluctuations and society's expectations and by encouraging added value,
  • Reinforcing the complementarity between agriculture/forestry and environment and encouraging the multifunctionnality of agriculture activities,
  • Stimulating dynamic and lively rural areas and making them more attractive as places to live and to work,
  • Local capacity building for developing the endogenous development of rural areas.

Total Budget and EU funding

Total Public Expenditure (in €)
Share of EAFRD* in Public expenditure in %
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
Axis 2
Axis 3
Technical assistance

* EAFRD = European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Overall aim of the RD programme in Wallonia

  • Stimulating a dynamic and innovative agriculture sector,
  • encouraging sustainable production methods with a view to improving the environment,
  • improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of the rural economy,
  • local capacity building for more employment and diversification

Axis 1: Budget allocation and main priorities:

Total public funding: € 222,000,000 – EAFRD contribution: € 66,600,000 (30 % of programme total)

Main priorities: modernisation of agriculture holdings (43.2% of total public expenditure for axis 1), setting up of farms (35.6%), adding value to agriculture products (18.0%).

Axis 2: Budget allocation and main priorities:

Total public funding: € 188,114,000 – EAFRD contribution: € 94,057,000 (50 % of programme total)

Main priorities: agro environment measure (77.7% of total public expenditure for axis 2), LFA payments (17.5%), Natura 2000 payments (3.2%).

Axis 3: Budget allocation and main priorities:

Total public funding: € 37,133,194 – EAFRD contribution: € 18,566,597 (50 % of programme total)

Main priorities: creation of micro-enterprises (32.3% of total public expenditure for axis 3), conservation and upgrading of rural heritage (24.2%),diversification (16.0%), basic services for the rural economy (10.8%), promotion of tourism activities (8.1%), training and information (8.1%).

Leader budget allocation and priorities:

Total public funding: € 19,732,000 – EAFRD contribution: € 9,866,000 (50 % of programme total)

The Leader axis will be implemented using axis 1, 2 and 3 measures, focussed on maintaining and developing the attractiveness of rural areas.


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