Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse (Reform) has signed off on a regulation which will provide investment support for the food and beverage industry, aimed at ensuring the security of energy supply. The support derives from both European Union and domestic funding.
Minister Kruuse said: "The food industry plays a vital role in our daily security, as they provide for our tables every day,"
This means that over-reliance on external fossil fuels suppliers should be rectified, the minister added.
"Considering the importance of food security and to ensure business continuity in changed circumstances, the state has come to the aid of entrepreneurs," he continued.
The ministry has cooperated with business to draw up its plans, ahead of the heating season (traditionally taken as being October to March inclusive), while progress has been rapid enough to open up the support application rounds as early as next month, Kruuse said.
Entrepreneurs whose main field of activity involves food or beverage production can apply for investment support, the ministry says, including for the purchase of equipment or building construction needed to ensure security of energy supply, as well as support towards buying a generator.
The process is open from September 14 to September 28, via the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA) e-service environment, while support is offered for a maximum of €250,000 for small-to-medium-sized enterprises, and €500,000 for larger enterprises.
The program's total budget comes to €14 million
The ministry's rural development plan for 2014-2020 is a program financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the domestic state budget.
Within the framework of this program, the development of agriculture and rural life is supported to a a total of nearly one billion euros, the ministry says.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Ministry of Rural Affairs