Bulgaria’s development programme for rural areas will be officially launched today. That was announced by ‘Agriculture’ state fund representative.
As of today, all 28 regional payment agencies will accept projects on two paths – “Establishing new farms” (with a total budget of 102 million euro) and “Modernizing existing farms” with a budget of 1,4 billion euro.
By the end of June all paths of the programme are will to be launched. The total amount provided by the EC for rural investments is estimated at 3,24 billion euro.
The first path of the project will allow farmers to apply for funds for establishing new farms or taking over and modernizing existing ones. In this case, they have to submit business plan with detailed description of all necessary actions, investment initiatives and goals.
New farmers can receive money for expanding the agricultural land, increasing the number of cattle, re-planting old crops, renovation of the existing buildings, purchasing new farming machinery, etc.
The maximum fund that can be granted by each farmer is 25 000 Euro and will be paid in two installments of 12 500 Euro.
There are several major requirements which applicants must meet in order to take part in the project. They must be registered as “Agricultural Producers”, they must be between 18 and 40 years old and must prove that they have professional expertise in agriculture. Also, they must not be approved for funding by any other paths of the programme.
The second path, “Modernizing existing farms”, grants money for improving the overall production of the farms, introducing new technologies and initiatives to comply with EU’s ecological standards. It is also possible applicants to receive funds for introducing HACCP standards and Good manufacture practices (GMP).
The programme is expected to improve Bulgaria’s agriculture and lead it to a new level of production. It is now hoped that there will be enough projects to subsidize so that all funds from EU be used.