Minister of Agriculture admits to postponing deadline for applications for CAP aid

Minister attended the auction of the first cherries this year and the presentation of the campaign to promote the fruit

The Minister of Agriculture and Food admitted today the postponement, "as much as possible", of applications for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) aid that ends on 31 May.

In Fundão, where she attended the auction of the first cherries this year and the presentation of the campaign to promote the fruit, Maria do Céu Antunes said she was aware that «not everything has been perfect».

«We met this week with the confederations to take the measures, namely postponing as much as possible the deadline for the submission of candidacies», said the minister.

The minister added that, regardless of the postponement, "the October payments are not at issue".

«Even with the extension of the application period, we are not going to condition this deadline, because we know well that it is essential for farmers to be able to meet the commitments they have assumed», highlighted Maria do Céu Antunes.

The minister stressed that a "very great effort" was being made, because the CAP reform, undertaken in 2020, "is a very ambitious reform" and involved "building a whole new building, from the platform point of view, to monitor and the submission of candidacies'.

«We even increased the amount, plus seven million euros to the five confederations of farmers, to help farmers to present their candidacies», stressed the minister.

The extension of the deadline for submitting applications was one of the demands made today by the National Confederation of Agriculture (CNA), at a press conference at the headquarters of the District Association of Farmers of Castelo Branco, in the city of Fundão, where it warned that the process applications for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) aid, there is "true chaos".

"The rush by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Government to complete a reform of the CAP that penalizes family farmers and to deliver the National Strategic Plan (PEPAC) to Brussels has had high costs and those who are paying are the farmers", accused the CNA today .

According to the CNA, the Government "did not take into account the reality of the sector and the depleted structure of the public administration, whose human resources have done a lot to, even so, try to overcome the various problems".

The CNA also said that taking into account that "there are thousands of applications to be made" it is necessary to extend the deadline set for the 31st, under penalty of running the risk of leaving farmers out.

He also defended that farmers cannot be penalized "for possible non-compliance with the new measures" in the payment of aid.