Support for the farmers

The Scheme of Unique Payment on Surface
Along with Romanian’s adhesion to the European Union interfere changes in the way of endowment of financial support for the farmers: the direct payment system is replaced by the rendering of uniform sums on hectar of eligible agricultural field. In order to obtain this sum it is necessary that the farmers fulfill all the eligibility conditions and to proceed with a subvention request.
The farms that can receive money by this scheme must use a surface of agricultural field larger or equal to one ha, surface that cannot be formed from holdings smaller than 0, 3 ha. In addition, to receive direct payment, the farmers must respect some standards regarding the public health, the well being of animals and the environment. Regarding the tillers that do not respect those standards, the direct payments for the year when the deviations were found out, can be retreated or even canceled. 
The application methodology of the Scheme of Unique Payment on Surface
The money allotted by means of the scheme will be administrated by the Agency of Payments and Investments for Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture will finances in advance the direct payments to the farmers, so that thesis could benefit as soon possible as by the communitary financial support, and the European funds could be absorbed at a maximum level. The emergency ordinance institutes a new position in the MAPDR budget – “Afferent funds transfers for agriculture and rural development FEGA and FEADR”. The farmers will not use the money allotted for this chapter only for the finance in advance necessary for the quick start of direct payments. The rural development projects financed by PAC from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development need co-finance by means of a similar system to SAPARD.

The requests for support reception on ha may be handed in until the end of May 2007 at the local or county centers of APIA. It is stipulated that the money reach the beneficiaries at the end of the year, by means of banc gyro, therefore it is very important that the farmers that request them have a banc account open.

Practical criteria
Obtaining direct payments pro hectar is conditioned by keeping the Good Agricultural and Environment Conditions, as the Commune Order No. 791/1381/2006 defines these, in the Official Monitor of Romania No. 1043/29 December 2006. 

According to this normative act, there are five standards that include 11 compulsive rules:
I. Standards to avoid the soil erosion:
1. During winter, the arable field must be covered by autumn cultures and/or remain uncultivated after the harvest on at least 20% of the farm’s total arable surface;
2. Soil works on arable field with a ramp higher than 12%, cultivated with weeding plants, are done along the level curves;
3. The ranges existent on the agricultural field at January 1, 2007 are maintained.

II. Standards for the maintenance of the soil’s optimal content of organic matter, by the application of adequate agricultural practices:
4. Sun flower should not be cultivated on the same surface more than two years in a row;
5. Burning stubble fields and vegetal residues is allowed only with the competent authorities’ permission for environmental protection;

III. Standards for the soil structure maintenance:
6. Soil works on arable field with a ramp higher than 12%, cultivated with weeding plants, are done along the level curves;

IV. Standards for the maintenance of the minimum level of soil keeping:
7. The grazing on permanent grasslands is forbidden;
8. Burning permanent grasslands is allowed only with the permission of the competent authorities for environmental protection;
9. Cutting solitary trees and/or groups of trees of arable fields is forbidden;
10. Preventing the unwanted vegetation growth on arable fields, especially on those that are not exploited for production anymore;

V. The standards for the maintenance of the existent surface of permanent grasslands:
11.  Maintaining the permanent grasslands surfaces that existed at national level on January 1, 2007. 

The conditions enumerated above are incumbent on all the agricultural parcels included in the exploitation, regardless if the farmer requests support for all the parcels or only for some of them. An Integrated System of Administration and Control, administered by the Payment and Intervention Agency for Agriculture, do the control of respecting the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions by the farmers.

The Commune Agricultural Politics
According to the Emergency Decree adopted by the Government in September 13, 2006, The Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development (MAFRD) is assigned to administrate the funds from The Commune Agricultural Politics of EU. With this occasion the Minister Gheorghe Flutur specified that in the next years Romania will receive from the European Union 12 billion Euros of which the direct payments will represent about 5 billion Euros and the funds for the rural development about 7 billions Euro.
“In the European mechanism, the way it happened with SAPARD, Romania gives the funds first and at the end of next year we shall receive this funds from the European Union” explained the Minister Gheorghe Flutur. Therefore, Romania will finance in advance the unique payments of surface for the Romanian farmers. The money will be entirely recovered   at the beginning of 2008, from FEGA.

Spending the money of the two funds established within the Commune Agricultural Politics, that is FEGA (EFAG) and FEADR (EAFRD), shall be done through the two payment agencies for agriculture -The Agency for Payment and Intervention for Agriculture – regarding the European Fund of Agricultural Guarantee and The Payment Agency for Rural Development and Fishing (APDRP) for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The first finance requests from the structural funds shall be handed in after April 2007. According to the Government’s assessments, at least in may, the project demands will follow their normal course. The beneficiaries will hand in the finance requests, the projects will be analyzed, then selected, and approved, the finance contracts will be signed with the selected beneficiaries and then will take place the actual implementation of objects.

Source: The periodical 'Afacerea' and