What is the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development?

The European Union’s rural development policy is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. This Fund provides €100 billion to invest in rural development across the European Union in the period between 2014 and 2020.

There are 118 different Rural Development Programmes (RDP) in the 28 Member States for the period 2014-2020, 20 Member States have single national programmes (such as Ireland) and 8 Member States have opted to have two or more (regional) programmes (such as the United Kingdom).

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Government of Ireland co-fund the Rural Development Operational Programme for Ireland.

European agricultural fund for rural development Funding Infographic €4 Billion total 2014-2020

How does it work?

There are six key priority areas for the European Union in Rural Development:

  • fostering knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas;
  • enhancing the viability and competitiveness of all types of agriculture, and promoting innovative farm technologies and sustainable forest management;
  • promoting food chain organisation, animal welfare and risk management in agriculture;
  • restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems related to agriculture and forestry;
  • promoting resource efficiency and supporting the shift toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy in the agriculture, food and forestry sectors;
  • promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.

For full details of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme, please visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.