Bulgarian Farmers’ Association Opposes Annual Cap on EU Subsidies
The Bulgarian Association of Agricultural Producers (BAAP) has opposed plans of the government to impose a EUR 300 000 cap on the annual amount of area-based direct payments.
The BAAP said in a media statement on Sunday that it backed the proposal for a progressive decrease in the amount of subsidies under the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as it was more a balanced solution for farmers from all categories.
The BAAP, as cited by mediapool.bg, added that it had not taken part in a working group formed to discuss the new direct payments.
The Association expressed support for the scenario envisaging a progressive decrease in the amount of subsidies under which sums of EUR 150 000 – 300 000 were to be reduced by 5% and sums of over EUR 300 000 by 10%, with the expenses for salaries, social security payments and taxes had to be deducted prior to the decrease.
The BAAP said that this scenario included detailed calculations by experts at the Agriculture Ministry in order to ensure a fair and objective decrease in subsidies for small, medium and big farms.
The BAAP also noted that no analysis had been provided by the Ministry or by professional organizations of the impact of the proposal for a EUR 300 000 annual ceiling on subsidies.
The BAAP cautioned that the adoption of the subsidy cap did not mean that the free resources would be used for direct aid for vulnerable sectors ad EU rules required that the remainder be transferred to the Rural Development Program.
The Association insisted that Bulgaria was not supposed to restrict development opportunities for large-scale agricultural producers. It also warned that the cancelation of subsidies above the EUR 300 000 ceiling could be a disincentive for large-scale agricultural businesses which could trigger refusals to process the land plots.
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