Farmers in Brussels have applied for an enormous area for subsidised cultivation of energy crops. The number of hectares reached 3 million against 1.2 million in 2006.
The numbers have been announced today. The crops are destined for biofuel production.
Due to this huge interest the European Commission will probably make a decision mid October to lower the amounts paid per hectare. These can decrease from 45 to 30 euros per hectare. Total expenditure then will remain limited to 90 million euros.
The strong demand mainly comes from countries in Eastern Europe, which for the first time are entitled to apply for this regulation. Poland alone for example has applied for 200,000 hectares of subsidised culture.