Statement by Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel on provisional farm income figures for 2009

This situation highlights more clearly than ever the need for a strong, modern and effective Common Agricultural Policy. Direct payments provide a basic level of income for farmers, cushioning them from price fluctuations. They still have a crucial role to play, representing roughly a third of farm income in the EU. Market measures can act as a real safety net in times of difficulty. The rapid actions taken by the Commission during the recent dairy crisis are a perfect illustration of what the CAP can provide when necessary. Rural Development measures can also help, particularly when they are linked to restructuring or promote services like environmental protection which are not remunerated through the market. The Commission will continue to be vigilant and will not hesitate to do all it can to help the farming sector. Looking ahead, we will continue to insist on the need for a modern CAP which can meet the multiple challenges faced by our rural areas in the 21st century.


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