Several thousand farmers protested in Bucharest yesterday, asking for the hiking of subsidies and for more support for their line of activity.
According to Claudiu Franc, President of the Association of Cattle Farmers, the farmers’ demands include the amendment of five legislative acts, rendering farming associations and cooperatives eligible to receive subsidies, and a support scheme for small farmers.
On Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu met Claudiu Franc, President of the Association of Cattle Farmers, Gontea Eugen, President of the Federation of Mountain Sheep Farmers, and representatives of the Pro Agro Federation, in order to find a solution that would allow livestock farmers’ associations, set up on the basis of Government Ordinance 26/2000, and cooperatives, set up on the basis of Law 566/2004, to become eligible for the direct payments scheme. Aspects that had to do with these livestock farmers’ associations possibility to temporarily use grasslands leased from local councils were also discussed.
On March 23, the Government approved the Decision that regulates some temporary financial measures meant to stimulate the absorption of grants earmarked for agriculture. The decision offers a loan of RON 3.6 bln, from the Finance Ministry’s privatization revenues account, by the end of 2016. After the Agriculture Payments and Intervention Agency makes the payments, the expenditures are forwarded to the European Commission, through monthly statements, the European Commission reimburses them to the Agriculture Ministry, and they are sent back to the Finance Ministry.
Farmers also discussed the amendment of several laws, including the one concerning the transformation of cooperative associations or groups of producers, the grasslands law and the law on the sale of agricultural land to foreigners.