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Knowledge category: Funding and financing

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Updated on 19.09.2023

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) can provide investment support for regions with rural characteristics through financial instruments, such as loans, microcredit, guarantees and equity.

Financial entity: European Commission
Contact: via contact form

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The EAFRD’s instruments can be used by cities and regions that have a Circular Systemic Solution in agriculture, forestry and rural areas and are undertaking financially viable projects that support the priorities of the EAFRD, such as the agriculture and agri-food sector.

A relevant example is a project concerning the use of sustainable biogas in the Italian farming community. A consortium of agricultural and biogas stakeholders used EAFRD funds to tackle climate change and greenhouse gas emissions through an economically and environmentally sustainable use of agricultural inputs and energy.

Applicant criteria

The applicant criteria are specific to each call. The criteria also depend on how the funding is allocated. The EAFRD funds are allocated under shared management for 91 % of the budget.

EU Member States are responsible for setting up a management and control system for payments that complies with EU regulations. They are also responsible for executing payments to EAFRD beneficiaries through officially designated bodies known as paying agencies. Paying agencies are accredited according to detailed criteria set by the Commission and must ensure the eligibility of all applications and the correct execution of payments to farmers and other common agricultural policy beneficiaries.

The other 9 % is managed by the Commission. These opportunities are announced on the EU Funding and Tenders Portal.

Eligible projects/themes

The EAFRD is one of five funds included under the framework of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), which target cohesive investment towards sustainable economic development in the EU.

The objectives of the EAFRD are realised through national and regional rural development programmes (RDPs), which are co-financed by the EAFRD and the national budgets of EU Member States. The EAFRD can also provide investment support for rural enterprises and projects through financial instruments, such as loans, guarantees, or equity.

The EAFRD finances the EU's contribution to RDPs. RDPs consist of measures and projects that contribute to the EU-wide objectives of:

  • improving the competitiveness of agriculture;
  • encouraging sustainable management of natural resources and climate action;
  • achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities.

More information about financial instruments, case studies, factsheets, brochures and manuals on the EAFRD are provided on the online advisory platform.

Past projects and their results can be found here

Amount of funding

The EAFRD budget for 2021-27 amounts to €95.5 billion. The exact amount of funding allocation is country specific. Funding information per country can be found here

Application process

The funds allocated via shared management can be found by contacting the responsible paying agencies to find out the necessary applicant criteria. The paying agencies for each country can be found here

Details of calls managed by the Commission are announced on the EU funding portal.


From 2021 to 2027.