Approximately 1 pc of the existing more than one million farmers receive half of the total financial support granted to Romanian agriculture by the European Commission (EC), the minister of Agriculture, Daniel Constantin announced yesterday in the seminar ‘Mediafax Talks about Agriculture.’ According to Constantin, as of 2014 the EC enacted the possibility for the sums granted to big farms to be capped to EUR 300,000, regardless of their surface. Romania did not agree the measure and there are talks about removing the cap, or at least increasing it to EUR 600,000. Constantin explained that most Romanian farms are small, with surfaces between 1 and 5 hectares. Direct payments for Romanian farmers will amount to minimum EUR 11.5 bln in the budget exercise 2014-2020, i.e. EUR 5.5 bln more than provided by the budget for 2007-2013.The minister of Agriculture tries to direct EUR 1 bln, of the EUR 21 bln allocated as structural funds until 2020, towards the basic infrastructure of irrigations, which will expand the irrigable surface by 800,000 hectares, and will prohibit the transfer of infrastructure to private entities.
The minister explained that, in the immediate future, the government will modify the legislation in order to prevent the transfer of the basic infrastructure of irrigations to private entities, which is possible now.Daniel Constantin added that the ministry will draw a black list of those who receive land subsidies which they do not use for farming, such an example being the Otopeni airport. He mentioned that the measure “is meant to direct” Euroepan funds towards those who really work in agriculture and need this support.