The EU policy tool for integrating environmental requirements into the Common Agricultural Policy is the Cross Compliance Scheme. EU farmers shall respect cross-compliance rules, legislative standards and obligations, in order to receive payments, but more importantly cross-compliance enhances awareness among them and helps European farming to be more compatible with the expectations of society. Farmers’ non-compliance with standards may lead to reduction or, even, cancelation of their agricultural support and rural development payments.
However, the implementation of the cross-compliance consists of many burdens, either related to the public authorities, or to the farmers. On the one hand, the public administrative costs are extremely high due to the need of in-field visits. On the other hand, farmers face several difficulties in familiarizing with the applicable regulations and also dealing with the high administrative costs of the proper implementation of the cross-compliance.
The RECAP project aims to develop an improved remote monitoring of CAP obligations and to supplement the in-field inspections procedures eliminating several of the forementioned burdens. Furthermore, RECAP will offer farmers a tool supporting them to comply with regulations imposed by the CAP, providing personalised information for simplifying the interpretation of complex regulations, and early alerts on potential non-conformities. RECAP will allow agricultural consultants to access data available in the platform, subject to security and privacy policies, and to develop their own services within the platform using design tools, libraries and communication with the database under an open approach.
The overall objective is to develop and pilot test a platform for the delivery of public services that will enable the improved implementation of the CAP, targeting public Paying Agencies, agricultural consultants and farmers. The platform will collect information:
from open satellite data,
through farmers’ mobile devices,
from commercial channels of satellite data providers.
The RECAP services will:
Assist Paying Agencies to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of the controls for cross compliance.
- Through the use of Remote Sensing full and open access data.
- Through user-generated data (geo-referenced and time-stamped photos) provided by farmers.
- Through the use of a modern mobile application (optimised for tablets) that will allow inspectors to bring all relevant information about an audit at their fingertips and conduct the inspection process according to a guidance protocol based on checklists that will speed up the process and eliminate (as much as possible) any “grey” points or subjectivity.
Assist farmers to comply with regulations imposed by the CAP, through a mobile application (optimised for smartphones) which will facilitate the interpretation of complex regulations and provide alerts on potential breaches.
Allow agricultural consultants to create new added value services, building on the components and data of RECAP.