Green light for € 1.8 billion for food sector and rural development in Poland

by 5m Editor
8 July 2004, at 12:00am

POLAND - The European Commission has approved today Poland’s Sectoral Operational Programme for Restructuring and Modernisation of the Food Sector and Rural Development for the period 2004-2006. The programme includes a broad range of ambitious rural development measures.

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The focus is on the modernisation of the farming sector, improvement of the processing sector, and the encouragement of rural development. The European Union’s contribution from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance Section amounting to € 1.192 billion for the period 2004-2006, will be complemented by national public funding of € 591 million.

Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said “This programme sets ambitious objectives to build a more competitive agriculture and food sector in Poland, to develop rural areas, improve incomes and create job opportunities for those living there. We must ensure that we continue the momentum so that the programme can be up and running quickly“.

The implementation of the programme will be supervised by a Monitoring Committee composed of all of all relevant partners. The priorities in the programme are defined by the Polish authorities. In keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, the Polish authorities will decide on projects to benefit from EU support under the condition that these decisions are based on objective criteria and that all procedures are transparent and well supervised.

The priorities for the programme are:

Support to Changes and Adjustments in the Agricultural and Food sector, (EU contribution: €839 million). The priority aims at greater competitiveness and profitability in the food sector. The main objective is to improve the sector’s efficiency and bring its products closer to consumer demands, and it will also raise hygiene and environmental standards. Premiums for young farmers and funding for training measures and extension services will augment farmers’ ability to adjust to the Single Market and enhance their management practices.

Sustainable Development of Rural Areas, (EU contribution: € 335 million) This priority includes a wide range of measures to respond to specific rural circumstances. Support to agricultural water management structures will contribute to regulation of water conditions and flood prevention. Funding on reparcelling will enhance the farm structure, while assistance for infrastructure on farms will improve living standards of the farming population. Resources earmarked for village renewal, diversification of agricultural activities and Leader type measures are of special importance to provide better living conditions to rural population, improve job prospects, and last but not least, boost local collective initiatives.

Technical Assistance (EU contribution: € 18 million), to facilitate the implementation of the programme. The total public expenditure for the programme is set at € 1784.2 million for the period 2004-2006. This includes a financial contribution of € 1192.7 million from the European Union’s European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance Section.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland will be the Managing Authority for the programme.

Source: European Commission - 8th July 2004

5m Editor