Romanian Farmers May Access Promotion Funds But Do Not Know It
Starting this year Romanian farmers may promote their produce with funding from the European Union.
Starting this year Romanian farmers may promote their produce with funding from the European Union. The European Commission said the EU annual budget for financing promotion in and outside the EU went to 50 million euros, which is 10 million euros more than a year before.
Farmers may have up to 80% of their promotion costs paid for by the EU and the Romanian state, with the EU covering up to 60% of the costs for promoting fruits and vegetables in schools. Romanian farmers may get money for promoting their fruits and vegetables, ornamental plants, seed oils, olives, dairy products, wine and ecologic products, but not for promoting the pork meat, due to the pig pest which still infects part of Romania's pig farms.
According to Teodor Mihalcea, director in the Ministry of Agriculture, the farmers may access the funds to take part in local fairs and exhibitions, as well as in international ones.
The plans for promoting Romanian produce on the domestic market are due to be filed with the Ministry of Agriculture by November 30, while those for promoting the produce internationally – by March 31, 2008.
After a preliminary selection, the ministry sends the projects to the European Commission for final approval. It should do so by February 15 and June 30, 2009, respectively. The breakdown of promotion funds says the EU may fund up to 50% of a project, the Romanian state may fund another 30%, with farmers' organizations picking-up the remaining 20% of the cost.
However, according to the Rural Barometer, most Romanian farmers are unaware of the rights and benefits they have under the EU legislation.
Some 78% of them still use their produce for their own household consumption, and fail to insure their crops. They also are not interested in accessing EU funds or starting up a business that will sell their produce far and wide. Some 75% of Romanian farmers do not know which are the subsidies they are entitled to for the milk quota, for instance.
• Translated by Anca Păduraru