The Council of Ministers of the National Government has approved the call for a line of aid from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) for a value of 20 million euro, for the promotion of demonstration projects of the best practices in the agriculture, which contribute to the ecological transition in agriculture and the reduction of impacts at source in the Mar Menor watershed. Its ultimate goal is to restore the natural balance of the area in a way that is compatible with the sustainability of agricultural activity.

The call seeks to generate scalable, replicable, innovative experiences, based on science and with the maximum involvement and participation of farmers.

It intends to obtain ambitious results in aspects such as the reduction of contributions of agrochemicals, organic fertilizers, irrigation returns and erosive processes. With this, it seeks to improve the quality of the soil and reduce the demand for water resources, to achieve an improvement in the environment and biodiversity in the agricultural field of the Mar Menor basin.

The call is based on the premise that the agroecological transition requires the involvement of all social actors, with farmers as a fundamental part of the solution. Thus, different types of beneficiaries are eligible for aid, including professional and inter-professional agricultural organisations and other entities with legal personality in the agricultural field (producer organisations, cooperatives, communities of agricultural goods, etc.), as well as local entities, non-profit entities and scientific entities, which have a key role in the search and application of innovative solutions to the problems suffered by the Mar Menor. The call also allows groups of beneficiaries of up to six entities.

The selected projects must be developed on agricultural land within the Mar Menor watershed (defined in Annex 1 of Law 3/2020, of July 27, on the recovery and protection of the Mar Menor), belonging to the municipalities of San Pedro del Pinatar, San Javier, Los Alcázares, Torre Pacheco, Fuente Álamo de Murcia, Cartagena, La Unión, Murcia, Mazarrón and Alhama de Murcia.

The Biodiversity Foundation will be in charge of managing the call, which includes grants of between €300,000 and €2M. The selected initiatives may be extended three years from the granting of aid. The selection of the projects will be carried out on a competitive bidding basis, based on technical, strategic, environmental and social criteria.

The call approved by the Council of Ministers complies with the commitment to restore and improve the environment on farms by reducing the impacts of their activities at source, which includes the Framework of Priority Actions to recover the Mar Menor.