A €30m scheme is to be rolled out for German farmers in the state of Bavaria to compensate them for measures to improve water quality.
The European Commission has approved the scheme under state aid rules, which will be targeted at small and medium-sized tillage and horticulture farms.
The funds will partially compensate these farms for the cost of installing buffer strips on land along natural watercourses and the resulting loss of income from those areas.
It is expected that the scheme will benefit more than 1,000 farmers.
Farmers will be able to apply for direct grants limited to a maximum of €500/ha per year for the first five years and €200/ha per year for the following years.
The measures will contribute to Germany meeting its obligations under the EU’s water framework directive and go beyond what is required to comply with other EU legislation for the protection of water, such as the nitrates directive.