Slowly. Very slowly. About thirty a year on average in recent years. The pace at which shared ownership farms are increasing in Extremadura is not accelerating.
At the beginning of September, there were 121 agricultural holdings in the region in which there was a woman as co-owner. In the province of Badajoz there are 71 and in Cáceres, 50. Altogether, there are 68 more than were registered at the end of 2020. That is, in just over three years the number has doubled.
The volume is still small, but it represents close to 10% of the national total. In Spain as a whole, shared ownership groups together 1,220 farms, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Within the region, the percentage of farms registered in Reticom (the shared ownership registry managed by the Ministry) does not even represent 0.3% of the total: since in Extremadura there are more than 50,000 active farms.
The figure of shared ownership serves to ensure that both members of a couple are in charge of an agricultural operation if both are dedicated to it and share the tasks of managing it. For years, public administrations have been trying to promote this option to promote equality between the members of a couple, since it is still common in the Extremaduran agricultural sector that only one of the members, in the vast majority of cases, is men. , appears as owner of the exploitation.
The Ministry grants annual direct aid to promote this management figure, which also scores in other calls
Granting direct economic aid is one of the measures adopted with the intention of increasing the number of agricultural holdings with shared ownership. The Ministry of Agriculture opens an annual call for applications for this subsidy. In the current year, with 1.8 million euros, the owners of the farms presented the documentation in April.
In 2022, each farm received 1,500 euros, an amount slightly higher than in 2021 (1,371.74 euros).
It’s a way to help farmers deal with the higher expenses that come with shared ownership. For example, having to pay two Social Security contributions, since the two members of the farm must pay them as self-employed workers.
Because that is one of the requirements that exist to register a farm in the Reticom: that the two owners are registered with Social Security. Another condition is that both work in agricultural activity, either in the field or in administrative tasks. Furthermore, in an attempt to combat depopulation, it is mandatory that the two owners reside in the same rural territorial area in which the farm is located.
Precisely, trying to get both members of the couple to contribute is another of the objectives of promoting shared ownership. This results, in most cases, in the greater independence of women, who when the time comes to retire often have a smaller pension than that of men.
A recent report by EAE Business School certifies that 60% of rural women do not contribute for their work.
The figure of shared ownership also provides advantages – which are once again intended to promote its growth – when opting for both Extremaduran and state aid lines.
These advantages are basically two: farms with couples as co-owners are considered priority in some calls and in others they can access a higher financial amount. Thus, they have more facilities to access subsidies such as those granted to the creation of businesses for young farmers, the improvement and modernization of farms, the restructuring of vineyards or the improvement of beekeeping marketing.
Shared ownership farms also benefit from more favorable conditions when accessing loans guaranteed by the Centralized Management Financial Instrument, the IFGC.