ZAGREB, March 24 (Croatia Sun News) – Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic unveiled measures for the farm sector, which are part of the government’s initial set of measures designed to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, noting that additional measures were being worked on.
She said the first measure, for which Croatia had already applied with the European Commission, was ensuring flexibility between the pillars of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Croatia has asked for additional funding in the third pillar, namely for securing sufficient income for farmers.
The planned amount considering possible flexibility is currently a minimum HRK 120 million, provided the EC supports the request, together with other countries, Vuckovic told a news conference in Government House, which was also attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and other ministers in charge of different parts of the economic sector.
The second proposed measure is a small grants scheme for the micro agricultural segment, family farms, crafts and employers with one to ten employees.
For that programme, HRK 53 million of budgetary funds is to be secured.
The programme refers to different sectors of crop and cattle farming and will be published by the start of next week at the latest, said Vuckovic.
The third measure is designed to launch a credit line for small businesses and for the wood-processing industry, with loans ranging to up to €25,000, with an interest rate of 0.5%. The line would be financed from the Rural Development Fund, she said.
As for the fisheries sector, Vuckovic said that a request had been sent to the EC to reintroduce measures for the temporary cessation of fishing activities. to make it possible for employers in the fisheries sector to provide full wages for their employees.
New small government grants for fisheries are another measure intended for the fisheries sector and aquaculture, with the government having approved an increase in those grants from 30,000 to 120,000 euros. The measure will be available until the end of this year.
Other measures include the possibility of co-financing packaging in the fisheries sector, deferral of payment of concession fees and mooring fees, etc, said Vuckovic.