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MEMO/08/105

Brussels, 20 February 2008

Rural Development plan – 5 regions of Spain

Country profile for Spain

  • Size: 504,411 km²
  • Population: 44.5 millions inhabitants (density: 88 inhabitants/ km²)
  • GDP per capita: EUR 19,480 (average for the period 2000-2002; source: National strategy plan for rural development)
  • Rural areas cover 91.3 % of the Spanish territory and approximately 20% of the population resides in these areas. The Spanish situation is characterized by important territorial discrepancies, mainly between the interior and the coastal areas.
  • Almost 0.95 million people are employed on 1,140,730 agricultural holdings, accounting for 998,000 work units. A high share of farms (68.4 %) is managed by full time farmers. The average holding size is 22.1 ha of utilized agricultural area, with large farms located mainly in the central and southern part of the country and small farms in the northern part. The dual structure of the Spanish agricultural sector is evident in the fact that 55% of holdings use only 5% of the agricultural land and 8.7 % of the holdings occupy 69.1 % of the agricultural land. The output value of agriculture (and forestry) is approximately EUR 26 billion. Thus, the sector contributes approximately 3.32% to the total gross value added produced in Spain (food industry: 4.5%)
  • The diversity of natural resources and landscapes (humid areas in the North and drier areas in the South) can also be seen as an important asset. Twenty-five percent of the territory has been classified as Natura 2000 areas, and the preservation of endangered biodiversity is seen as a very important issue.

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile

Due to its administrative structure, Spain has chosen to implement the rural development policy through rural development programmes (RDP) established at the regional level by the Autonomous Communities. Seventeen regional and two horizontal programmes (the National Framework and the Rural Network drafted at the national level) have been prepared. The National Framework was adopted by the Commission on 28th November 2007 and does not itself dispose of the budget. Instead, regional programmes and the rural development network, which are currently in the process of approval, provide the basis for the co-financing of Spanish programmes from the EAFRD budget.

Region: Andalucía:

Profile of Andalucía:

  • Population: 7,975,672 inhabitants (2006).
  • Size: 87,599 km² (17 % of the Spanish surface) and a population density of 85.6 inhabitants/ Km2.
  • GDP per capita in Andalucía is 75% of the EU-25 average (2006)
  • Unemployment rate is 12.6% (2006)
  • Population of rural areas: 2,647,923 inhabitants (2006)
  • Forest surface is 4,821,662 ha (55% of territory). The average of the agricultural holdings are 17.3 ha lower than the Spanish average (22.1 ha)
  • 29.56% of the territory is covered by the Natura 2000 network: of which: 63% of the agricultural surface and 90% of the forestry surface.
  • Contribution of employment in agriculture (12% of the employment).
  • Agricultural holdings are 273,775 which represent 24% of total of Spain
  • The average area of farm holdings is 17.3 ha (lower than the EU average)
  • The level of education and training in the agricultural sector is low.
  • Within the total agricultural production, the main sectors are vegetables (37%), olive oil (27%) and fruit (21%)
  • Andalucía's agro-food industry is 13.3% of Spain, the second at national level. This sector currently provides 15% of the employment of this sector in Spain.

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

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

Therefore, the priorities and objectives of this RDP can be summarised under four headings:

1) Competitiveness of the agri-food sector.

2) Sustainability and natural environment.

3) Diversification of the quality of life in rural areas.

4) Development of the local capacity and diversification.

Budget overall and share of EU funding

Axis
Total Public Expenditure (in €)
EAFRD contribution rate (in %)
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
1,106,115,329
70
774,280,730
Axis 2
1,131,443,820
75
848,582,865
Axis 3
38,604,437
75
28,953,328
LEADER
268,387,606
80
214,710,085
Technical assistance
20,288,408
75
15,216,306
Total
2,564,839,600
73.37
1,881,743,314

Overall aim of the RD programme of Andalucia

The RDP of Andalucía takes as general objectives according with the Regulation (EC) nº 1698/2005 and establishes the priority activities associated with each strategic objective

Among the main objectives are the improvement of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector and the promotion of sustainable agriculture.

Axis 1 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 774,280,730 (41.1% of the EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: EUR € 1,106,115,329

Main priorities under this Axis:

  • Promotion of knowledge and improvement in human potential.
  • Restructuring and development of the physical potential and promotion of innovation.
  • Improving the quality of production and the agricultural production

Axis 2 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 848,582,865 (45.1% of EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: EUR 1,131,443,820

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Sustainable use of the agricultural land
  • Sustainable use of the forest land

Axis 3 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 28,953,328 (1.5% of EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: EUR 38.604.437

Main priorities under this Axis are:

  • Diversification of the rural economy
  • Improvement in the quality of life in the rural areas.
  • Reinforcement of the territorial cohesion and the synergies

Leader budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 214,710,085 (11.4% % of EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: EUR 268,387,606

Main priorities under this Axis:

  • Contribution to the objectives of Axis1 and 3 through the rural development strategies and participation of economic and social actors.
  • Improvement in local governance and promotion of cooperation between the private and public sectors.
  • Mobilisation of the endogenous development potential of rural areas.

Region: Aragon:

Profile of Aragón:

  • Population: 1,269,027 inhabitants (2.9 % of the Spanish population).
  • Size: 47,719 km² (9.4% of the Spanish surface) and a population density of 26.6 inhabitants/ Km2( 87 in the whole Spain) Considered rural: 97 %
  • GDP per capita in Aragón is 105.5 % of the EU average (Spain 97.6). Very unbalanced across the region.
  • Unemployment rate of 5.8% (lower than the Spain average). Decreasing tendency of long-term unemployment.
  • Economic activity concentrated in the Ebro valley.
  • Less Favoured Areas cover 76.5 % of the agricultural surface.
  • Natura 2000 network covers 28.9% of the territory of the region: this includes 24.6% of the agricultural surface, 36.5 % of grassland and 30.5% of the forestry surface.
  • The rural area of Aragon attracts 40.65 % of employment and generates 38.29% of the total Gross Value Added (GVA) of the region.
  • The number of holdings has been decreasing in the last few years and their size has increased: currently the average area of holdings is 42.63 ha, almost twice the Spanish average area (23.2 ha). More than three quarters of the holdings (77.18%) have an area between 5 and 50 ha and only 8.94 %% are larger than 100 ha.
  • Agriculture: cereals (non irrigated), fodder and fruit trees. Irrigated: 24% of the agricultural surface which uses 80% of the total water used in the region.
  • Livestock-farming: Pig: 31% of the (environmental problems because effluent management). Bovine meat: 21% of the total agrarian production.
  • Forestry: 25 % of the total surface. Insignificant production. Environmentally oriented.
  • Agri-food industry: Dried fodder, animal feed, preserved fruits, meat, wine, olive oil.

The Agri-food industry constitutes the second industrial subsector of the region, and despite the experienced dynamism during the last years, it still has productivities lower than the national average of the sector. Among the most important obstacles are the following:

  • Atomization of the sector.
  • Concentration of activities for first transformation.
  • Weak development of the systems to ensure the quality of the raw materials.
  • Difficulty to adapt to the requirements of the distribution and of the final consumption.
  • Lack of capacity to absorb regional agricultural production.

Environment:

  • One of the more important environmental problems which affect the region is the process of deterioration of the soil as a result of erosion and desertification.
  • The total surface of the Vulnerable Areas to pollution by nitrates reaches 155,174 ha of which 84,046 ha correspond to the irrigated crops.
  • The agricultural surface protected by the agro-environmental measures supposes 16, 46 % of the Utilized Agricultural Area (UAA).
  • Aragón is one of the principal wind energy producers of Spain (second producing country in the world).

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

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

Therefore, the priorities and objectives of this RDP can be summarised under three headings:

1) Improving the competitiveness of the agricultural, forestry and agri-food sectors.

2) Improving the environment and the rural environment

3) Economic diversification and improvement of the quality of life in rural areas.

Budget overall and share of EU funding

Axis
Total Public Expenditure (in €)
EAFRD contribution rate (in %)
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
579 248 000
25
144 812 000
Axis 2
317 751 928
50
158 875 964
Axis 3
76 516 073
50
38 258 036
LEADER
119 000 000
50
59 500 000
Technical assistance
1 855 734
50
927 867
Total
1 094 371 734
36.77
402 373 867

Overall aim of the RD programme of Aragón

The improvement of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, the promotion of sustainable agriculture and forestry and the searching of new opportunities in the rural areas.

Axis 1 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 144 812 000 (35.99% of the EAFRD contribution)

Total cost: EUR 579 248 000

Main priorities under this Axis:

  • Adding value to agricultural and forestry products.
  • Improving and developing infrastructure related to the development and adaptation of agriculture and forestry
  • Farm modernisation.

Axis 2 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 158 875 964 (39.48% of EAFRD contribution)

Total cost: EUR 317 751 928.

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Agri-environmental measures
  • Natural handicap payments to farmers in mountain areas- Restoring forestry potential and introducing prevention actions

Axis 3 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 38 258 036 (9.51% of EAFRD contribution, 11.90 % including Leader Axis).

Total cost: EUR 76 516 073

The main priority is the establishment of the quality of live and diversification of the economy.

Leader budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: EUR 59 500 000 (14.79% of EAFRD contribution)

Total cost: EUR 119 000 000.

The Axis Leader is devoted to the implementation of measures from Axis 1 and Axis 3.

Main priorities under this Axis:

  • Diversification of the economy
  • Improving the quality of life in rural areas.

Autonomous Region of Asturias

Profile of Asturias:

  • Asturias is a region 'phasing out' from being a convergence region.
  • The region has a total population of 1,076,635 inhabitants (2005). Its size is 10,604 km² (2.1% of the Spanish surface) and it has a population density of 101 inhabitants/ km2.
  • Asturias is a significantly rural region (78 municipalities out of 90 are considered rural). Almost 35% of its population lives in rural municipalities (with less than 150 inhabitants per km2) and these occupy 88% of the territory. Population density varies significantly from more than 70 inhabitants per km2 in the central area to less than 20 inhabitants per km2 in other parts.
  • In 2003, the GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power parity was 83% of the EU-25 average. Population with more than 65 years of age represents 22% of the total population which is higher than the national average.
  • The unemployment rate (2006) is 8.1%, whereas the activity and employment rates are 50% and 46% respectively.
  • The primary, secondary and tertiary sectors contribute, respectively, 5.9%, 30.5% and 63.6% to the employment.
  • Population of rural areas: 340,884 inhabitants (2006) density: 22 inhabitants/km2
  • Forest areas occupy a significant part of the territory (70%).
  • Eighty percent of all municipalities (63 out of 78) are classified as less favoured areas.
  • 21.67% of the territory is covered by the Natura 2000 network: this includes 13.2% of the agricultural surface and 25.35% of the forestry surface.
  • Low contribution of employment in agriculture (5.9% of the employment).
  • More than 90% of agricultural holdings have between 1 and 20 ha.
  • The level of education and training in the agricultural sector is low.
  • Livestock production represents the primary focus in agriculture. Milk and beef are the most important products.
  • The importance of Asturias agri-food industry is low.

The chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

The overall objectives were chosen in accordance with the Community Strategic Guidelines (CSG), the National Strategy Plan and the Spanish National Framework.

The priorities and objectives can be summarised under four headings:

1) Competitiveness.

2) Sustainability and natural environment.

3) Diversification of the quality of life in rural areas.

4) Development of the local capacity and diversification.

Budget overall and share of EU funding

Axis
Total Public Expenditure (in €)
EAFRD contribution rate (in %)
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
227 420 000
70
159 194 000
Axis 2
137 656 757
74
101 866 000
Axis 3
43 000 000
72.10
30 100 000
LEADER
46 514 286
70
32 560 000
Technical assistance
2 046 191
74.58
1 526 049
Total
413 637 234
71.35
295 146 049

* Axis 3 will be implemented by axis 4.

Overall aim of RD programme of Asturias

To strengthen the competitiveness, develop a sustainable use of natural resources and the global attractive in rural areas intervening on integration between the development of agricultural and forestry sector, environment, bio-energy, rural tourism and services.

Axis 1 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 159,194,000 EUR (53.94 % of the EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: 227,420,000 EUR

Main priorities under this Axis:

  • Promotion of knowledge and improvement in human potential.
  • Restructuring and development of the physical potential and promotion of innovation.

Axis 2 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 101,866,000 EUR (34.51 % of EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: 137,656,757 EUR

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Sustainable use of the agricultural land
  • Sustainable use of the forest land

Axis 3 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 30,100,000 EUR (10.60 % EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: 43,000,000 EUR

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Diversification of the rural economy
  • Improvement in the quality of life in the rural areas.

Axis 4 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 32,560,000 EUR (11.03 % of EAFRD contribution)

Total public funding: 46,514,286 EUR

Main priorities under this Axis:

  • Contribution to the objectives of Axis1 and 3 through the rural development strategies and participation of economic and social actors.
  • Improvement in local governance and promotion of cooperation between the private and public sectors.
  • - Mobilisation of the endogenous development potential of rural areas.

Autonomous Region of la Rioja

Profile of La Rioja:

La Rioja is not a convergence region.

  • The region has a total population of 301,084 inhabitants (2005). Its size is 5,033km² (1.5% of the Spanish surface) and it has a population density of 56.50 inhabitants/ km2 (Spain: 87.4).
  • Rural areas in La Rioja occupy 91.14% of the territory. The population density for the region is lower than the national average; however it varies significantly within the region. Almost 66% of its population lives in urban centres. Other areas are characterized by progressive depopulation with some areas having less than 5 inhabitants per km2
  • Population with more than 60 years of age represents 19% of the total population.
  • In 2005, the GDP per capita in was 22,326 EUR (107.01% over Spanish average).
  • The UAA is 217,980ha or 43% of the territory. Forest areas occupy a significant part of the territory (47%). Less favoured areas occupy 42.9% of the territory.
  • The unemployment rate (2006) is 7.04%, the activity and employment rates are 49.84% and 46.76% respectively.
  • The agri-food sector in La Rioja contributes 6% of employment and 30% of gross domestic product (mainly because of wine production).
  • The Natura 2000 areas cover 33% of the territory (or 167,610ha), of which 95% is forest surface (although 14% of this is used with agricultural purposes, grazing) and 2.2% is UAA.
  • There are 12,700 agricultural holdings. The educational and training levels in the agricultural sector are low (only 6% of farmers with secondary education or higher).
  • Wine production represents the primary focus in agriculture, contributing 46% of final agricultural output, followed by horticulture production.
  • The progressive abandonment of agricultural land in mountainous and hill areas has lead to an increase in the forest surface and this has also contributed to the risk of forest fires.

The chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

The overall objectives were chosen in accordance with the Community Strategic Guidelines (CSG), the National Strategy Plan and the Spanish National Framework.

The programme outlines the importance for individual measures (in financial terms), giving priority to handicap payments in less favoured areas, early retirement, and agri-environment measures.

The overall budget and share of EU funding (in EUR)

Axis
Total Public Expenditure (in €)
EAFRD contribution rate (in %)
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
108 770 060
25%
27 192 515
Axis 2
66 689 040
25%
16 672 260
Axis 3
8 150 000
25%
2 037 500
LEADER
17 350 000
30%
5 205 000
Technical assistance
0
-
0
Total
200 959 100
25,43%
51 107 275

* Many measures of axis 3 will be implemented by axis 4

Overall aim of the RD programme of La Rioja

To strengthen the competitiveness, develop a sustainable use of natural resources and the global attractive in rural areas intervening on integration between the development of agricultural and forestry sector, environment, bio-energy, rural tourism and services

Axis 1 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 27,192,515 EUR (53.21% of EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 108,770,060 EUR

Main priorities under this Axis:

  • Infrastructure for development and adaptation of agriculture and forestry
  • Adding value to agricultural and forestry products
  • Modernisation of agricultural holdings

Axis 2 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 16,672,260 EUR (32.62% of EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 66,689,040 EUR

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Agro-environment payments
  • Non productive investments

Axis 3 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 2,037,500 EUR (3.99% of EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 8,150,000 EUR

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Diversification into non-agricultural activities
  • Village renewal and development

Axis 4 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 5,205,000 EUR (10.18 % of EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 17,350,000 EUR

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Quality of life and diversification
  • Running of the local action group, skills acquisition, animation

Region: Comunidad Valenciana

Profile of Comunidad Valenciana:

Comunidad Valenciana is a competitiveness (phasing-in) region.

  • The region has a total population of 4 806 908 inhabitants (10.7% of the population in Spain). Its size is 23 255 Km² (4.6% of the Spanish territory) and it has a population density of 206 inhabitants/km2 (the national average in Spain is 88 inhabitants/km2).
  • Rural areas in Comunidad Valenciana occupy 62% of the regional territory. The population density for the region has increased significantly in the last 10 years (from 172 inhabitants/ km2 in 1996 to 206 inhabitants/ km2 in 2006), however it varies significantly within the region, with higher population density in the coastline and depopulation in the most rural areas inland.
  • Population older than 65 years of age represents 16% of the total population.
  • In 2006, the GDP per capita in Comunidad Valenciana was 18 977 EUR (90.8% of the Spanish average).
  • The unemployment rate is 8.37%, which represents a significant decrease since the year 1995 when this rate was 22.43%. The activity and employment rates are 59.6% and 54.6% respectively.
  • The UAA covers 697 800 ha. Forest occupies 53% of the regional territory.
  • There are 142 228 agricultural holdings, with an average 4.9 ha per holding.
  • Agriculture in Comunidad Valenciana is characterised by a high productivity (connected to a tendency for citrus monoculture) and a very strong export orientation. Pigs and poultry represent 55% of the total animal production in this region.
  • 25% of the total area of Comunidad Valenciana faces serious soil erosion. Most of these soils are located in semi-arid or arid areas.
  • approximately 50% of the territory of Comunidad Valenciana is classified as less favoured areas.
  • The agriculture sector employs 2.95% of the active population and contributes with 2.39% to the Gross Value Added.
  • The agri-food sector in Comunidad Valenciana occupies 40 thousand people and more than 76% agri-food companies have less than 10 employees.
  • The Natura 2000 areas cover 27% of the territory. The Natura 2000 network includes 112 protected areas, of which 94 are Sites of Community Interest (SCI) and 18 are Special Protection Areas (SPA) for birds.

The chosen strategy corresponding to the profile:

The overall objectives were chosen in accordance with the Community Strategic Guidelines (CSG), the National Strategy Plan and the Spanish National Framework.

Measures proposed are coherent with the objectives set and contribute to strengthen the competitiveness. Water management will be focused in water savings, keeping this policy coherent with the compliance of the Water Framework Directive.

The overall budget and share of EU funding (in EUR)

Axis
Total Public Expenditure (in €)
Share of EAFRD* (in %)
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
260 000 000
20
52 000 000
Axis 2
163 316 400
53
86 557 692
Axis 3
49 000 000
36.5
17 885 000
LEADER
61 000 000
36.5
22 265 000
Technical assistance
2 076 624
43.69
907 277
Total
486 393 024
33.25
161 729 969

* Axis 3 will be implemented by axis 4

* EAFRD: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Overall aim of the RD programme of the Comunidad Valenciana

The main objective of the RDP is the increase of income of the people employed in agriculture and in the rural areas of Comunidad Valenciana, in a (economic, social and environmental) sustainable way. It gives priority to investment measures, such as adding value to agricultural products, and to agri-environment measures.

Axis 1 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 52 000 000 EUR (32.15% of the EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 260 000 000 EUR

Main priorities under this axis:

  • Adding value to agricultural products
  • Modernisation of agricultural holdings

Axis 2 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 86 557 692 EUR (53.52% of the EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 163 316 400 EUR

Main priorities under this axis:

  • Agri-environment measures
  • Restoring forestry potential and introducing prevention actions

Axis 3 budget allocation and main priorities:

EAFRD: 17 885 000 EUR (11.06% the EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 49 000 000 EUR

Main priorities under this axis:

  • Village renewal and development
  • Basic services for the economy and rural population

Leader budget allocation:

EAFRD: 22 265 000 EUR (13.77 % of the EAFRD total)

Total public funding: 61 000 000 EUR

Main priorities under this axis are:

  • Quality of life and diversification
  • Cooperation

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