Estonian ministry to pay emergency support to potato growers ({{commentsTotal}})

Excessive rainfall last fall led to ruined crops for potato farmers in Estonia.
Excessive rainfall last fall led to ruined crops for potato farmers in Estonia. Source: (AFP/Scanpix)

A bill has exited the Ministry of Rural Affairs regarding the payment of support to potato growers and field-scale vegetable growers who were unable to harvest part of their crops due to excessive rainfall last fall.

"Excessive rainfall in fall 2017 put many plant growers in a difficult economic situation," Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm (Center) said in a press release on Monday. "Therefore, this extraordinary measure is aimed at supporting Estonian potato growers and field-scale vegetable growers who were unable to harvest part or all of ther crops as a result of excessive precipitation last fall."

Eligible for this support will be potato growers and field-scale vegetable growers who in 2017 applied for single area payment or direct support for fruit and vegetable farming and whose application was granted. The size of the area not harvested must equal at least 0.3 hectares; in calculating area, fields of at least 0.01 hectares in size will be taken into account.

The agricultural registers and the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA) will accept applications from March 19-23.

The European Commission in December 2017 earmarked €1.3 million in European Union (EU) support to Estonian farmers affected by heavy rainfall, which Estonia can match up to 100 percent.

The aid provided is part of a €15 million aid package distributed between the three Baltic states and Finland. All four member states will be allowed match received EU funds up to 100 percent. The four member states have until Sept. 30 to use the aid provided.

In addition to extreme weather conditions during the harvest period between August and October, the early onset of winter, which brought with it snow and low temperatures, made sowing conditions extremely unfavorable. As a result, much of the sowing for the 2018/2019 marketing season went undone, resulting in further foregone revenue for farmers, the Commission said.

Farmers in Latvia are to receive €3.5 million and farmers in Lithuania €9.2 million under the same measure.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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