Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Desislava Taneva announced at a briefing that Bulgarian farmers will receive a total of BGN 49 million in financial assistance under a de minimis aid programme. Representatives of the branches also took part in the event. She explained that animal breeders will receive BGN 25, 600 million to cover losses caused by drought and additional expenses related to the COVID- pandemic. Nearly BGN 19 million will be granted to assist growers of fruits, vegetables and vines, as well as rose oil producers to cover losses in connection with the pandemic, shrinking markets and declining market prices. The potential beneficiaries are over 24 thousand. A financial resource in the amount of nearly BGN 5 million has been set aside for the beekeepers, as the potential beneficiaries are over BGN 6,000. A notification for this will be offered to the EC, "said Minister Taneva.
"The most important thing for us at the beginning of the pandemic was to ensure the production process and we successfully dealt with it," said Minister Taneva. She explained that various measures have been taken regarding the control of imported agricultural products from third countries. "We used all the opportunities for the support in the sector provided by the European Commission. At the initiative of Bulgaria, the member states were given the right to make changes in their rural development programs and to support the Covid-19 loss sector, "said the Minister of Agriculture. According to her, the Bulgarian agricultural producers and processors will be able to be provided with a total of BGN 106.3 million funds in three areas - sub-measures Covid-1, Covid-2 and Covid-3. Our country's proposal was for 25% of national funding, so that the total budget would be BGN 120 million, but the EC approved a national funding of 15% and so the measure will provide 106.3 million levs. The Minister clarified that sub-measures Covid-1 and Covid-2 will be opened on August 19-th, the acceptance will continue until September 21, when the deadline for application acceptance for the use of the discount on fuel excise expires.
Bulgaria has also taken the opportunity to transfer funds from the 2021’s budget of the Rural Development Program (RDP) to direct payments in the amount of 70 million euros. This possibility has led to an increase of at least 12% in the coupled support for fruit, vegetables and animals and an increase of at least 9% in support under other direct payment schemes. The final percentage of the increased budgetsunder the different schemes will become clear after the final determination of eligible areas and animals for authorization or after all inspections.
Minister Taneva announced that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the SFA are working on a payment schedule for the 2020 Campaign to start from the first possible day - October 16- th, and by the end of the year farmers are expected to receive nearly BGN 1.7 billion.
A total of BGN 56.5 million is intended to improve the liquidity of agricultural holdings that have deferred their liabilities and are unable to repay them under the terms of COVID 19. For this financial resource a notification is to be requested from the EC under the Temporary Framework for dealing with the aftermath of the COVID 19 pandemic.