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European Commission Approves the Second Amendment to Slovenia's Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

Ljubljana, 16 December 2016 – On Wednesday, 14 December 2016, the European Commission approved the second amendment to the Rural Development Programme of the Republic of Slovenia 2014-2020, which introduces several changes. These relate to the implementation of 14 sub-measures, with the following being the most significant: the introduction of a measure to promote the development of small agricultural holdings, the manner of restructuring agricultural holdings, and the adjustment of obligations under the agri-environment climate scheme (AEC measure) and quality schemes.

The amendments to the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020 relate to individual (sub)measures and introduce the following changes:

 

Measure 3 – Quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

Sub-measure M03.1 – Support for new participation in quality schemes: a system for annual flat-rate incentive payments; "collective" certification (the beneficiaries are legal persons that have registered for the certification process at least three farm holdings included in an eligible quality scheme or a certain product under an eligible quality scheme), and the manufacturing of products under the quality schemes.

Sub-measure M03.2 – Support for information and promotion activities: the beneficiaries are exclusively producer groups and organisations; the provisions relating to the contribution to the horizontal objectives and advance payments have been deleted; the list of eligible costs has been extended so as to include the coordination costs.

 

Measure 4 – Investments in agricultural holdings

Within sub-measures M04.1 and M04.2, the amendment refers to the concept of restructuring agricultural holdings and to the new definition of small-scale investments - small farms for which agriculture does not provide the main source of income and which have a low degree of market participation and will only improve their economic viability through the investment. The total approved value of the investment has been increased from EUR 15,000 to EUR 50,000; the simplification of measures related to the amount of revenues generated by agricultural holdings before and after the investments and physical investment goals. The income threshold for agricultural holdings is determined. 

Under the measure "Investments in physical assets", general costs also include the costs of archaeological works and archaeological supervision and the costs for the drafting of detailed municipal spatial plans.

Those entitled to support under sub-measure M04.1 are also entitled to a higher public support rate for investments in agricultural holdings included in the implementation of measure M14. Under sub-measure M04.2, a higher public support rate is approved for investments in farms with a subsidiary on-farm activity in areas facing natural or other specific constraints. 

The above two sub-measures also increased the public support rate for investments for young farmers, who may be natural or legal persons.

 

Sub-measure  M06.1 – Business start-up aid for young farmers

Under sub-measure M06.1, those entitled to support now also include, in addition to natural persons, legal persons established as one-person companies since such an arrangement vbest suits the definitions that are already applicable under this sub-measure for young farmers acting as natural persons.

 

Sub-measure  M06.3 – Business start-up aid for the development of small farms

The support under sub-measure M06.3 is intended for the development of small farms located in areas with natural or other specific constraints (ANCs) (in which utilised agricultural land (UAA) accounts for at least 50% of the area), which have at least 3 and no more than 6 hectares of comparable agricultural area, with not less than 3 livestock units and not more than 15 livestock units (LU), ensuring a grazing livestock density (cattle, sheep, goats, deer) of at least 0.7 LU/ha of permanent grassland. The exception is farms included in the scheme of organic farming; investors are required to produce a business plan. The amount of public support to improve the potential for the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products is defined as a flat-rate amount of EUR 5,000 per beneficiary.  

 

The amendments to the RDP 2014-2020 also concern the following measures and sub-measures: M09 – Setting-up of producer groups and organisations, 10 – Agri-environment-climate payments, M11 – Organic farming, M13 – Payments to areas facing natural or other specific constraints, M14 – Animal welfare, M19 – Support for LEADER local development (CLLD – community-led local development). Sub-measures: M06.1 – Business start-up aid for young farmers, M08.4 – Support for the restoration of damage to forests from forest fires and natural disasters and catastrophic events, M16.2 – Support for pilot projects and for the development of new products, practices, processes and technologies. 

 

A more detailed overview of individual amendments concerning the above (sub)measures is available at the rural development website and in the document 2nd Amendment of the RDP 2014-2020. More detailed information is also available at INFO points:http://www.program-podezelja.si/sl/infoteka/info-tocke.

 

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