PositionInternational Pages - Brief Article

As regards the per hectare area aid, which is to be reduced in three stages to brought into line with the payments to the grain growers, Spain and the United Kingdom have expressed the problems encountered by their flax and hemp growers in applying the same criteria of eligibility as those in effect for farmers of arable crops. The condition for granting the assistance, which depends on the reference 1989-1991 campaign periods, produces, according to those delegations, surface area overruns because of the size of the production during that period. In addition, the Commission proposes control measures for hemp growing in order to avoid unauthorised cultivation for marijuana production. Thus, the Member States must establish a maximum surface area eligible for per hectare aid in order to be able to verify the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content on at least 30% of the surface area subject to request for subsidy. Germany is asking, for example, that the determination of the percentage of surface areas to be inspected be a responsibility of the Member States.--The many problems with the common organisation of the market for flax and hemp stem from the principle of basing aid on the number of hectares under cultivation, which is very high for short fibres when compared with production costs or the actual value of the product. To avoid such problems, the Commission has agreed, by proposing an amendment to Regulation No 1251/1999 on the support...

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