Romania currently has 860,000 farmers struggling at subsistence levels, and it is the ministry’s duty to help them associate so that they may produce more for the market, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Daniel Constantin told the congress of PRO AGRO National Federation, Agerpres reports. ‘The ministry’s policy for the period immediately ahead is to encourage small farmers to produce more for the market and get out of the subsistence area. The ministry will provide financial assistance in direct payments to owners of more than 5 hectares of farmland. There are currently 860,000 farmers in Romania still struggling at subsistence levels because they only own between one and five hectares. I believe it is our duty to stimulate them to associate. It is important to convey to them the message that if they have two, three, four or even five hectares they will not get the same assistance extended to farmers owning six-seven hectares, but they can get the same assistance if they associate with two or five neighbours or entire villages congregate in producers’ associations so that they may qualify for the same level of payments as today or even higher. This does not mean they will be excluded form payments, just that they will get smaller per-hectare payments,’ said Constantin.
He added that the Agency for Agricultural Payments and Innervations (APIA) will come up with a simplified system for small farmers in relation to the applications they submit for per-area payments, conditional on lower payments.
The PRO AGRO National Federation was holding yesterday at the Indagra international agriculture and food trade fair in Bucharest its first congress to showcase achievements and objectives as well as the significance and importance of their joining the COPA-COGECA European association of agriculturalists. PRO AGRO officials disscused the role of associations and federations in supporting Romania’s farm sector, the French and the Polish agricultural systems, as well as the provisions of the EU’s 2014-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as far as Romania is concerned.