Farmers who also run production operations will receive extra money


Two banks will manage the fund for the crediting of small farmers, created by the Ministry
of Agriculture, Minister Daniel Constantin announced.

The farmers who also have productive activities will receive extra points when the projects for obtaining financing are analysed, in the state’s attempt to stimulate the export of processed food products, the minister of Agriculture, Daniel Constantin announced yesterday in a press conference.
“We have the duty of introducing all these products in the processing circuit and exporting more and more added value. From this point of view, all the funds, all the projects of the future PNDR will award extra points when production is integrated as well,” the minister explained, quoted by Mediafax.
He added that, although this year the exports of food products exceeded imports for the first time in the last 20 years, the highest exports were those of wheat. “You have a vegetal farm and want to make storage or processing, you will certainly have supplementary points compared to those who only does processing, without also having the respective farm. Also in animal farming and all the other zones, the principle of integration the production will receive extra points, so we succeed in stimulating farmers to stop exporting raw materials and, instead, export processed products that results from a long production chain,” Constantin mentioned.
Romania last year had a commercial surplus of agrifood products, for the first time after 1994, amounting to EUR 324.9 M, compared to a deficit of EUR 745.5 M in 2012.
The total value of exports of agrifood products was EUR 5.09 bln last year, an increase of EUR 1.18 bln (30.2 pc) from the previous year, while imports worth EUR 4.77 bln exceeded by 2.4 pc the value registered in 2012. Intra-EU deliveries soared by 10.9 pc and exports to third-party countries went up 72.4 pc.
The Ministry of Agriculture will set up a fund for giving loans to small farmers, with the money being managed by two banks, Daniel Constantin announced. “The tender for this ordinance is in the final phase, two banks qualified to administer certain funds which the Ministry of Agriculture makes available in the conditions of the tender,” the minister said. Farmers will enjoy a grace period of three years and the loan will be extended on a 10-year interval.
In a different move, the Ministry of Agriculture will prepare this year a “black list” with inactive farmers and institutions which own plots of land and received subsidies, so they will no longer receive the payments per surface, the minister of Agriculture added. “This is not a very numerous category that would pose problems. Moreover, I think this will bring benefits for those who work in agriculture,” Daniel Constantin mentioned. The minister added that the list will be finalised this year, with the concept of “active farmer” due to be decided before this happens.
Higher subsidies for surfaces of 5-30 ha, meant to stimulate associations
The state will grant, starting the spring of next year, a higher support per hectare for surfaces of 5-30 ha, compared to 1-5 ha now, in a measure aimed at stimulating the association, Agriculture minister Daniel Constantin informed. Constantin believes that the extra sum received for surfaces above 5 ha will be large enough to stimulate the more than 700,000 farmers who own farms with surfaces between 1 and 5 ha to move to a different category, lease their lands, associate with each other, or sell the land.
The minister added that retrocessions led to an excessive division of lands and agriculture cannot be made on such small surfaces. By merging the plots, farmland could be used much more efficiently.

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