The European Commission said that it has reached its annual limit to support
farmers in growing biofuel crops.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said
that the subsidies have been very useful in stimulating the European
biofuels sector, but she questions if they are still needed.
encourage farmers to grow crops such as bright yellow rapeseed, the EU
agreed four years ago to pay subsidies for up to 5 million acres (2 million
hectares) of European farmland - or $63.90 per hectare. But farmers asked for
more this year - 2.8 million hectares (7 million acres).
This will mean
the EU will spend its entire biofuel subsidy budget of $128 million (€90
million) this year for the first time. Because the total applications are over
the limit, farmers will only get payments for 70% of the land they applied for,
EU agricultural experts said. When the subsidy scheme started in 2004, only
770,000 acres were planted with biofuels
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