No transitional support money allocated for farmers in state budget

Farmers hold protest at Toompea.
Farmers hold protest at Toompea. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Farmers are angry money has not been set aside for them in the state budget this year in the form of transitional support which helps match the higher level of EU funding given to agricultural producers in western Europe.

In December, €5 million was added to the budget after farmers staged a protest with tractors at Toompea which took the total to €10.3 million. But no money has been allocated in the 2021 budget.

Head of the Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce Roomet Sõrmus said: "The government's attitude is disappointing, the payment of transitional funding is a good indicator of how the government cares about farmers. Allocating zero euros in next year's budget is very, very disappointing. We have to take into account that EU direct payments will decrease next year, while our dairy farmers are making losses for the fifth month in a row because the market price of milk is lower than the cost price," said Sõrmus.

Minister of Rural Affairs Arvo Aller (EKRE) said next year's budget priorities are outside of the agriculture sector.

"Next year's budget priorities are health, research, defense and raising pensions. It must be acknowledged that the level of agricultural subsidies next year will not catch up with the EU average," Aller said.

Alller said he did put forward a proposal for €15 million but this was left out of the budget.

ERR asked if the government is planning to help struggling dairy farmers. Aller said no additional funding has been set aside.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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