Farmers Get Lv 37 Mln Increase in Support

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Farmers Get Lv 37 Mln Increase in Support

The allocation for support for agricultural producers is to increase by 37 million leva, according to Thursday's decision of the Agriculture State Fund.

Of that amount, 24 million leva will be allocated to offset farmers' losses from completely failed maize and sunflower crops in 2007.

Farmers have between August 5 and September 15 to apply for support to the amount of 100 leva per hectare of maize, wheat and sunflower. The money will be paid out until October 15.

This financial support is being provided under a decision of the European Commission of October 17, 2007, which approved state aid for compensation of losses incurred by agricultural producers for totally devastated areas as a result of natural disasters or adverse weather conditions.

The Agriculture State Fund also approved the distribution of 200,000 leva from a subsidy for queen bee production. Furthermore, 300,000 leva will be distributed from a subsidy for cotton-growing. Prompted by the increased demand for cotton worldwide, this support is designed to increase the area cropped with cotton.

Meeting with Agriculture and Food Minister Valeri Tsvetanov and his team later in the day, Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Plougchieva again called for stepping up action under programmes which have to do with agriculture, the Government Information Service said. The meeting was attended by the managements of the Agriculture State Fund and the Executive Agency on Fisheries and Aquacultures.

Plougchieva expects until August 25 for a comprehensive concept to be worked out about the ways in which information on the measures under the Rural Development Programme will reach farmers, for mobile groups to be put together which will travel across the country at the convenience of farmers and will provide assistance for the completion of documents for applying under the Rural Development Programme.

Interest in the Rural Development Programme is extremely big. A total of 2,080 projects have been received under two of the measures.

A working group will be formed as soon as possible to review in detail the issue of unpaid subsidies in the direct payments per area. The materials of the working group will be considered by an arbitration commission. Plougchieva recommended compiling a report for the next government meeting on the issue of unpaid subsidies in the direct payments per area, which should contain the total unpaid amount and measures to resolve the problem connected with discrepancies about declared areas.

Four ordinances regulating the activity under the Operational Programme for Fisheries and Aquacultures will be adopted by the end of August, and another eight by the end of September, the Government Information Service said. Two of the measures for project proposals under the programme are expected to be launched by the middle of September, the Executive Agency for Fisheries and Aquacultures said at the meeting, BTA reported.

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