18 february

Agriculture minister announces priorities for this year

The solving of the pledge problem of beginning farmers is one of the three top priorities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry this year, Minister Vasile Bumacov announced in a news conference on February 17, IPN reports.

The minister said the banks ask for pledges of 300% for the loans released to farmers. Thus, access to loans for those who want to start a business in agriculture is limited. “Today we will meet with representatives of banks and we hope we will reach a compromise so as to substantial reduce the pledge for loans granted to farmers,” he stated. According to him, obtaining new funding for subsidizing agriculture is another priority of the Ministry and they count on foreign financing in this respect.

“Most of the requests for subsidies refer to the purchase of agricultural machinery and irrigation systems, but the number of requests for subsidies for starting businesses in agriculture remains low,” said the minister, underlining the necessity of diversifying the categories of beneficiaries. Vasile Bumacov added that starting with February 18, the Ministry’s administration will pay field trips to inform the people about the subsidies provided in agriculture and to convince the people about the attractiveness of agricultural businesses.

In 2014, the agriculture subsidization fund represents 500 million lei, up from 400 million lei in 2013. 46 million lei of the 500 represents the grant provided by the European Commission. Under the agriculture subsidization regulations for 2014, approved by the Government, the farmers who intend to plant cherry, plum or peach orchards will be able to ask for subsidies of 20,000 to 30,000 lei per hectare. The subsidies for planting fruit-bearing bushes will be 50,000 lei per hectare.

The subsidies for farmers who will clear multiannual plantations will increase from 3,000 to 5,000 lei per hectare. As regards the stimulation of investments for cultivating vegetables on protected land, the subsidies will increase by up to 70% for groups of producers and by up to 60% for private agricultural producers. The subsidies for stimulating irrigation will rise by up to 50%.

Young farmers will be considered the persons younger than 35. Until now, the age limit was 30 years. Vasile Bumacov said this change will enable more young people to benefit from subsidies that will be by 10% higher.

In order to receive subsidies in agriculture, the economic entity must first develop the business by investing own financial resources or loans.