Home 9 Horizon projects 9 MEF4CAP: Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks for the Common Agricultural Policy  

MEF4CAP: Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks for the Common Agricultural Policy  

Jun 28, 2023 | Horizon projects

Author: Marcel Vanasseldonk (Wageningen University) 

MEF4CAP’s project seeks to harness the benefits of technology to meet the new data needs in agriculture prompted by the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the European Green Deal. This requires new solutions that minimise costs and administrative burden while optimising the value of the data collected. 

New data needs for CAP monitoring  

The economic, environmental, and social objectives of the new CAP require for a new set of key indicators to measure the policy’s performance. MEF4CAP identified a ‘wish list’ of 41 priority indicators which constitute an inventory of data needs to achieve a better targeting policy measures. 

Promising technologies 

MEF4CAP reviewed ICT developments and assessed the technological readiness of these solutions to identify the most promising data sources and technologies. There is no single technological approach to support CAP monitoring and evaluation. A combination of different technologies that are able to interact is necessary, such as satellite data complemented with in-situ data sources. 

Demonstration cases 

Through four demonstration cases in five EU Member States, the MEF4CAP project explored solutions which harness the benefits of technology to meet the new sustainability data needs in agriculture. By integrating different data sources performance can be calculated against a wide variety of indicators – including social, environmental, or economic sustainability – while reducing the administrative burden on farmers and public authorities. 

Several Demonstration Cases tested the integration of different data sources to develop user-friendly platforms providing information on a range of different sustainability dimensions. For example, in the Netherlands, Ireland and Poland, data from farm sensors and accounting systems were combined with satellite data to produce a farmer dashboard. In Spain and Greece, satellite data was used in combination with farm management information systems (FMIS) to develop a digital farmbook and a tool for advisors and farmers, respectively. 

These new data benefit farmers by providing precise information about the environmental performance of their farm management decisions. This also helps them to monitor the impacts of practice changes, all through low burden, easy to use systems, such as dashboards. Additionally, this data could be used to demonstrate compliance under certain certification schemes, in line with the principle of collecting farm data once and re-using it multiple times.