APIA: Payments worth more than 518 mln euros for farmers, till July 31

The Agency for Payment and Intervention for Agriculture (APIA) has paid the Romanian farmers till the end of July more than 518 million euros, respectively 96.34 percent of the overall amount of 537 million euros earmarked from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) for 2008 agricultural campaign, APIA Director general Danie l Constantin told.

„Till the end of July we succeeded to transfer the money to almost 1.058 million farmers, of a total of 1.130 million who submitted applications within the Surface unique payment scheme (SAPS) aid. We estimate that we are to finalize all these payments by August-end”, Constantin also said.

He stressed that of the total allocated amount for SAPS 2008, APIA is to pay approximately 531 million euros, the difference representing various sanctions applied to farmers.

APIA data reveal that a number of 39,663 farmers are below the payment limit and 5,808 already received negative decisions. The number of farmers entitled to further receive the surface unique payments is up to 28,000.

Farmers received this year 59.84 euros/ha. from the European money and from the complementary payments from the national budget 46.17 euros/ha.

According to APIA Director general, the European Commission (EC) penalties for delays involved in the Surface unique payment scheme – SAPS 2008 will be lower than in the past years because the agency intensified its work lately and succeeded to transfer to the beneficiaries important amounts from the European funds.

For the payments afferent to 2007, EC calculated penalties of 13.9 million euros for Romania because the payments were not transferred to the farmers within the set deadline.

As regards the applications for 2009, Constantin underlined that the classical control samples were already established and at the beginning of September the teledetection control can be started, actually four months earlier than last year.

This would allow the start of SAPS 2009 afferent payments much earlier, respectively in December this year, thus avoiding EC penalties applied to Romania for delays in the payments transfer to the farmers.

For 2009 campaign the Romanian farmers submitted more than 1.121 million payment applications till June 9 deadline, in order to get financial aid from European funds and from the national budget for a surface of 9.513 million hectares.

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