Use of Sentinel images for fairer control of the Common Agricultural Policy

Dominique Laurent (IGN France)

The European Commission is launching a new process to control the CAP, in replacement of the current OTSC (On The Spot Check): in practice, only a 5% of the farmers declarations are controlled and this sample practice leads to mistrust and to sanctions often considered as exaggerated. The new process is based on a systematic and continuous monitoring of the agricultural practices using the temporal series of Sentinel images. The farmer declaration may be checked early during the agricultural period; in case of doubts, alternative proofs may be provided by the farmers (e.g. geotagged photos, machine data). From this new smart monitoring approach, the European Commission is expecting less and less fraudulent declarations, Members States are expecting less conflicts with the European Commission and the farmers are expecting something easy and leading to less sanctions. Reduction of the administrative burden on farmers and Paying Agencies is also one of the objectives. However, the practical migration to this new approach is quite a challenge. This is why DG AGRI and DG CNECT have funded the NIVA project whose main aims are to develop tools and methods facilitating the implementation of smart monitoring and also to investigate and promote the reuse of CAP data by other domains, such as environment and climate change.