Small farmers in the EU will get up to €15,000 ‘thanks to Croatia’s initiative’

NEWS 25.05.2022 11:01
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Source: Pixabay/Ilustracija

Small farmers in the EU could soon receive up to €15,000 in one-off aid and agricultural SMEs up to €100,000 thanks to a Croatian initiative.

Croatia launched the initiative at a meeting of agriculture ministers last month and it was supported by 13 member states.

According to the initiative, due to the hikes in energy, fertilizer and animal feed prices, every member state would pay small farmers and agricultural SMEs up to 5% of their budgets as part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for 2011 and 2022.

The Commission endorsed the initiative and last week proposed a decree which the agriculture ministers discussed on Tuesday.

“We expect co-legislators to swiftly ratify this proposal, after which we will amend the rural development program which will enable emergency aid for Croatian farmers and SMEs in the agricultural and food sector,” Croatian Minister Marija Vuckovic said after yesterday’s meeting.

In Croatia’s case, the 5% amounts to a little over €30 million in additional EU funds.

The ministers also discussed the consequences of Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, a big exporter of farm products which cannot export them via its Black Sea ports due to Russia’s blockade. The EU is looking for a solution to transport the goods by rail and road to the EU and then to the nearest ports for dispatch elsewhere in the world.

The EU does not depend on import from Ukraine but is trying to prevent hunger in Africa and the Middle East, which are big importers of Ukrainian cereals.

Vuckovic said Croatia was drawing up a proposal for bringing those goods to its Adriatic ports, from where they could be exported to northern Africa. “We are mapping our ports, our rail network and silos which could contribute to the export of Ukrainian products.”