Afforestation of agricultural land as a measure of management and development of rural areas
The key measures for the environmental protection of agricultural land in the EEC countries, constitute accompanying measures of reformed Common Agricultural Policy. These measures concern the Reg. 2078/92/EEC about "crop production methods, compatible with environmental protection and conservation of landscape", the Reg. 2079/92/EEC about "farmers' early retirement" and the Reg. 2080/92/EEC (article 31 of the Reg. 1257/99/EEC) about "forest measures in agriculture". With regard to the applications of the last Regulation in Greece, it led to the afforestation of 22,777 Ha of broadleaves species (Robinia pseudoacacia, Juglans regia, Populus sp.) The cost was approximately 22.2 billion drs (64.563.463 euro). The present study concerns the evaluation and application of Regulation 2080/92 in the region of Pella's Prefecture (Northern Greece), as a representative area. In the period 1993-1998, 2,600 Ha of agricultural land was planted with forest species (mainly Robinia pseudoacacia, Populus sp., Juglans regia). However, a great number of farmers' and non- farmers' applications in the framework of this Regulation, were rejected. In general, several thousand hectares of mixed agroforestry systems were set up in the rural areas of Greece. The study was based on the collection and analysis of data supplied by the Forest Service and questionnaires filled in by beneficiaries. The data were analysed with SPSS 10.0 and the cluster analysis method was used.