EUR 458 million of the RDP will be directed to investment measures, young and small farmers

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This year, 458 m euros from the Rural Development Program (RDP) will go to the agricultural sector, young farmers and small farms. This was approved during a videoconference meeting of the Program Monitoring Committee. The financial resource is provided for sub-measures 4.1 “Investments in agricultural holdings”, 4.2 “Investments in processing / marketing of agricultural products”, 6.1 “Start-up aid for young farmers” and 6.3 “Start-up aid for the development of small farms”.
The evaluation criteria for the evaluation of the four sub-measures were discussed and updated at the meeting, in accordance with the challenges faced by the various sectoral productions and processors of agricultural products.
Sub-measures 4.1 and 4.2 introduce a requirement for applicants for 36 months history before submitting the project proposal. The change will contribute to the financial stability of the projects, as well as the sustainability and longevity of the investments made through them.
For sub-measure 4.1, the maximum eligible costs for a project will be up to EUR 1 000 000 at 50% aid intensity or up to 1 500 000 at 35% intensity.
The maximum eligible costs for investments in agricultural machinery will be up to 250,000 euros. Under sub-measure 4.2, the maximum eligible costs for a project will be up to EUR 2,000,000, at 50% aid intensity, or up to EUR 3,000,000 at 35% intensity.
From the current criteria under sub-measures 4.1 and 4.2, the approach in which priority is given to projects implemented in rural areas has been dropped. The update aims to promote support for projects in sensitive sectors, including certified organic production. The main goal is for the projects to focus on investments related to irrigation, environment / treatment facilities /, implementation of digital technologies, automation of work processes. The approach for determining the evaluation criteria under sub-measures 6.1 and 6.3 has also been specified. Under the “Start-up aid for the development of small farms” the requirement for the applicants to have received at least 33% income from agricultural activity for the previous year is dropped. At the meeting of the Monitoring Committee, the budget of Bulgaria during the transition period was also voted.
Our country will have nearly 887 million euros under the RDP for 2021 and 2022, according to the Transitional Regulation. About 685 million euros will be used through investment and compensatory measures under the Program in support of farmers. Bulgarian agriculture received an additional 202 million euros more through the implementation of various RDP measures. Such an opportunity is provided by the instrument “Next Generation EU”, which is part of the EU
Recovery Plan from the crisis caused by COVID-19. At the meeting it was decided to redirect an additional 31 million euros under measure 19 “Support for local development under LEADER” (CLLD – community-led local development). They will be allocated both for preparatory activities within the approach and according to the strategies of the already approved Local Action Groups, which will continue their activities in the next few years. The eligibility requirements for applicants under sub-measure 21.1 “Exclusive and temporary support for Covid 1 farmers” were also amended. This allows farmers who were not eligible for the 2020 admission to apply for the forthcoming additional admission. It will be announced in the coming months.

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