The EU Directive that
instituted the field crop subsidy scheme requires that the Member
States check 5% of the subsidy applications.
To do this, the Belgian
Ministry for Agriculture has set up a computerised system to manage
and check the subsidy applications.
This system, known
as SIGEC from the French for Integrated Management and Verification
System (Système Intégré de Gestion et
de Contrôle), includes a major cartographic component. This
feature makes it possible to digitise all of the reported plots
of farmland in Belgium (more than 600,000 plots each year) based
on complete coverage of the country by orthorectified aerial photographs.
These digitised views give the farmers some back-up for filling
out their applications and help the Ministry to check the validity
of the claims.