Land abandonment challenge after 2020

Feb 18, 2021

In a recently published note, the AGRI committee of the European Parliament presented the main observations and key conclusions from the study on The challenge of land abandonment after 2020 and options for mitigating measures.

This study examines the phenomenon of land abandonment, its consequences and mitigation options, providing an overview of the possible future evolution of land abandonment in the EU by 2030.

Land abandonment may be more pronounced in areas with limited production capacity and productivity, in particular, agriculturally less-favoured areas. These are mountain areas, islands and other remote parts of Europe, facing significant challenges in retaining a vital farming structure, and have experienced a steady decrease in agricultural land use.

Location can add to these challenges and hamper integration into effective agricultural value-chains and innovative quality schemes of food supply. Notably, the higher the share of mountains within a NUTS-3 region, the higher the risk of land abandonment.

It identified mitigating actions to be implemented through EU policies, especially the CAP, such as:

  • Improvement of farming conditions (education and training programmes higher financial security, lower threshold for supporting small farms, new investment sources and easier access to land);
  • Support to areas with natural constraints;
  • Forestry and environmental measures adjusted to the different vulnerabilities in different regions; and
  • Rural services of general interest (SGIs) and investment in rural infrastructure used in synergy with the different European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) and land use and regional development policies.