Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection
In Germany, the Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection (GAK) is an essential element of the national strategy for the development of rural areas.
It is the most important national support instrument aimed at making the agricultural and forestry sectors efficient, competitive and oriented towards future challenges, while safeguarding the vitality of rural areas and improving coastal protection. It contains a wide range of agricultural structures and infrastructure measures, thus covering large parts of the scope of the EAFRD Regulation. Together with the Länder funds, the total resources of the GAK amount to more than EUR 1 billion a year.
To implement the Joint Task and the presented principles the funds made available by the Länder will primarily be paid out as grants to the agricultural and forestry sectors and for the benefit of coastal protection. The federal government reimburses 60 per cent of the costs incurred by the Länder (coastal protection: 70 percent).
Details regarding the principles, aims and procedural questions are regulated in the Act on a Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection (GAK Act).
GAK Framework Plan
To realize the Joint Task, the federal and Länder authorities devise a joint framework plan for a four-year financial planning period. The GAK framework plan lists the measures including the associated aims; it describes the funding principles, eligibility conditions and the type and amount of aid payments.
The framework plan is decided by the Programme Committee for Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection (PLANAK), uniting farm ministers at federal and Länder level and the Federal Minister of Finance. It is valid for the financial planning period and is reviewed annually and adjusted to the current development.
In mid-May 2016 the PLANAK adopted the 2016 support measures under the Joint Task for the "Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection" (GAK). They apply for the period from 2016 to 2019. The support measures are implemented by development programmes of the Länder, complemented by their own support measures.
A requirement for support on the ground is that the GAK measures are offered by the respective Land. The requirements of land use planning, regional planning at state level and environmental protection and animal welfare must be taken into account when implementing the measure.
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