Estonian agriculture and rural communities get billion-euro boost
The European Commission has given a green light to 18 Rural Development Programs (RDP), worth 14.3 billion euros, plus local government co-funding.
Estonia will receive 823 million euros from the EU budget, and add a further 169 million euros to the rural development program from its own funds.
The main priority of the Estonian RDP is environmental protection regarding water, soil, and biodiversity. Around 70 percent of farmland will be under agri-environmental commitments. Improving the
competitiveness of agriculture also remains important: 4 percent of farms will receive investment
support and 3 percent of farmers will be helped to set up or take over a farm. The money will also pay for futher training of more than 4 000 farmers.
In monetary terms, Estonia will spend the public funding on:
- Support for enviromentally friendly management (182 million euros)
- Investments into imporving the performance of agricultural holdings (163 million euros)
- LEADER local development (90 million euros)
- Organic farming (78 million euros)
- Investments into processing and marketing of agricultural products (67 million euros)
RDPs aim at improving the competitiveness of the EU farming sector, caring for the countryside and climate, and strengthening the economic and social fabric of rural communities in the period until 2020. Support for rural development is the 2nd Pillar of the EU's common agricultural policy. It provides member states with an envelope of EU funding for multi-annual, co-funded programmes, at either the national or regional level. In total, 118 programmes are foreseen in all 28 member states.