The European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD) finances the EU's contribution to rural development programmes (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
Programmes are prepared on a national or regional basis, and must work towards specific targets relating to the EU’s rural development objectives. These objectives are realised through national and regional rural development programmes (RDPs), which are co-financed by the EAFRD and the national budgets of EU countries.
The EAFRD can also provide investment support for rural enterprises and projects through financial instruments, such as loans, guarantees, or equity. Details about financial instruments available under the EAFRD are provided on the online advisory platform Fi-Compass.
The EAFRD is one of five funds included under the framework of the European structural investment funds (ESIF), which target cohesive investment towards sustainable economic development in the EU. The EAFRD will remain under the ESIF framework in 2021 and 2022, after which it will fall fully under the framework of the CAP strategic plans.