Nowadays in Italy, agriculture and agricultural businesses are particularly struggling due to a number of factors. The lack of competitiveness at an international level, restricted access to credit, and a shortage of skilled workers are just some of the factors affecting this sector in recent times.
Fortunately, however, many opportunities exist for investment in this sector, for example the Agriculture 4.0 bonus.
The agriculture 4.0 bonus is a tax benefit for those who invest in capital assets for agricultural production, such as machinery and innovative technologies. This bonus is intended for small and medium-sized agricultural businesses based in Italy and for individual agricultural enterprises.
This credit is available over 3 years, starting from the year following the year the machine enters into operation.
New incentives have been introduced to encourage self-employment in order to start attracting more young people and women to work in the agricultural sector. These take the form of soft loans and non-repayable grants, intended to support young and female entrepreneurs who submit investment, development and consolidation projects in the agricultural sector, for the maximum amount of EUR 1,500,000. Eligible projects must address at least one of the following objectives: to develop the performance and sustainability of the agricultural business by reducing costs or enhancing production; to improve the natural environment, hygiene conditions or animal welfare; or to build and upgrade infrastructures related to the development, adaptation and modernisation of agriculture.
At the time of applying, businesses must be managed and run either by a young person aged from 18 to under 41, or by a woman with the qualification of professional agricultural entrepreneur/farmer. Applications for access to these subsidies must be sent to ISMEA, the institute that will then establish and communicate the criteria and procedures for submitting applications.
Currently two non-repayable grants are available for agriculture: 50% non-repayable grants for young farmers and 40% for all established agricultural businesses.
These subsidies are made available in order to improve the management and foster the development of Italian agricultural businesses by means of purchasing new equipment and machinery suitable for the business concerned. The aim is to reduce environmental impact, avoid occupational accidents and optimise productivity to achieve improved business performance. The call is limited to two agricultural machines, provided that they fulfil the following combinations: a forestry or agricultural tractor and a forestry or agricultural machine.