Romanian farmers ask direct payment for 3.5 mln hectares in 2008

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The Romanian farmers have asked for direct payments due in 2008 from the EU financial support and from the national budget for 3.54 million hectares, with as many as 661,205 applications having been put forward by the end of last week, show figures supplied by the Agency for Farming Payments and Intervention (APIA).
 
Farmers of Suceava county lodged the largest number of applications namely 39,012 for 121,788.11 ha of cropland, followed by Vaslui county with 30,773 applications for 167,040.93 ha, Botosani with 30,610 applications for 112,214.81 ha, Bihor county – 29,351 applications for 110,666.47 ha, Dolj county – with 24,939 applications for 118,867.41 ha. At the opposite pole there is Bucharest with 157 applicants for 3,281.75 ha, Ilfov county – 2,107 applications for 32,996 ha and Ialomita – 2,302 applications, for 32,947.18 ha.
 
The campaign for lodging applications for EU financial support for 2008 lasts till May 15. Applications can be lodged till June 9, 2008, with penalties of 1 percent for each day of delay.
 
As many as 317,000 farmers got the subsidies (amounting to almost 63 million euros) for 2007, APIA data show. As much as 39.17 million euros of the payments APIA made so far represents the financial support granted by the European Agricultural and Guarantee Fund (EAGF), 9.87 million euros come from the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and 13.58 million euros from the National Complementary Direct Payments (NCDP).
 
APIA also asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for funds worth 4.46 million euros for payments to 19,411 farmers. Most payments were made in counties such as Vaslui (23,000 farmers), Neamt (15,000), Botosani and Teleorman (about 14,000).
 
The subsidies for the farmland surface were established at 97.5 euros per ha, out of which 50.6 euros per ha came from the EU funds, and 46.9 euros per ha represented the complementary payment from the national budget, in 2007. Farmers can get the money only if they lodged the application in due time, were not selected at the checking on site or by remote sensing and had no errors at the administrative checking.
 
APIA started paying the EU subsidies for the cropland surface for 2007 in this April and it is due to end them by end-May. The funds allocated through EAGF for the payments for 2007 amount to 440 million euros and more 122 million euros come from the national co-financing. The annual funds allocated through EAGF will grow gradually by 2013, and 569 million euros is earmarked for 2008.
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