Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu on Thursday said that out of 5.2 billion euros the ruling coalition has pledged to absorb in European funds in 2017, 2.2 billion euros have already been drawn before the end of the first quarter in direct agricultural payments made by the Agriculture Ministry via the Agency for Agricultural Payments and Interventions (APIA), to nearly 900,000 farmers.
“What make me happy and should make all of us happy is that today we learned about what Mr minister has pledged to do, namely direct payments to farmers that have reached a record level of about 2.2 billion euros, with nearly 900,000 farmers having received funds. So, out of 5.2 billion euros we have pledged in absorbed funds in 2017, 2.2 billion were paid out by the close of the first quarter in direct payments to farmers,” Grindeanu said at the end of a working visit to the Agriculture Ministry, where he talked with Agriculture Minister Petre Daea.
He congratulated APIA on its actions these days and on what it still has to do.
“This is a workload they used to finish in a longer period. This time, things happened very quickly. We want this autumn to start with very precise deadlines, so that advance payments may be made at the end of this year,” Grindeanu stated.
Daea reminded the farmers that May 15 is the decline for the submission of subsidy applications. “I wish you Happy Easter! And to farmers: fruitful work, because there is much work in the fields,” said Daea.
“We want to draw 1.6 – 1.7 billion euros through AFIR”
Sorin Grindeanu stated also on Thursday that the Government’s goal in respect to drawing European funds in 2017 under the Agency for Rural Investment Funding (AFIR) programme, via the Agriculture Ministry is set at 1.6 – 1.7 billion euros, adding that he requested Minister Petre Daea to find solutions to cut through red tape in this area.
“I have discussed how to absorb an extremely important amount and the target is, yet again, very high, on the AFIR, on the European funds, somewhere around 1.6 – 1.7 billion euros this year. And my request, which is not mine, but I took it from the country and Mr Minister knows it very well, it’s connected to cut through red tape, to simplify it a lot; we further want transparency, but simplifying very much the bureaucracy and everything related to the circuit of papers. We are interested this year in European funds overall at the Agriculture Ministry, subsidies and things related to the AFIR included, to reach somewhere around 3.5 billion euros. I am convinced that it’s a goal that the Agriculture Ministry can accomplish, especially considering it started extraordinarily well,” Grindeanu stated at the end of a meeting with Minister of Agriculture Petre Daea, at the ministry headquarters.
Grindeanu mentioned that at the meeting Daea also unveiled the latest developments in the implementation of a national anti-hail system, “an extremely important programme for farmers and agriculturists,” mentioning that next week he will take a field trip in order to see for himself how things are in this area.