The EU's Direct Payments Management Committee has listened to the European Commission and is cutting subsidies for biofuel crops. These subsidies were created to support these crops as long as they didn't reach 2 million Ha. This figure will be exceeded before the year is out.
If you wonder how much money that was, farmers got 45 EUR per Ha, as long as the production was agreed to be sold for producing biofuels. This help has been adjusted and farmers will only receive subsidies for 70 percent of the land. This percentage will be changed if the allocated budget (90 million EUR) runs out.
This policy was established in 2003, before the latest 10 countries joined the EU, countries that have increased the total number of biofuel crop acres in the Union. While in 2004, biofuel crops were grown on 0.31 million Ha, and the figures have increased steadily: 0.57 million in 2005, 1.23 million in 2006 and 2 million estimates for 2007.
The European Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Mariann Fischer Boel said that this measure has fuelled the European biofuel industry but the EU has yet to decide if it's still necessary for the new budget.
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