Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 is a program that determines the planning and development of rural areas in Croatia for a specified period of time. This important strategic document aims to contribute to the development of Croatian agriculture and rural development in general, and it is also a requirement for the use of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). This fall, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds will start to issue tenders for projects in agriculture and rural development. Almost 2.4 billion EUR, or 333 million EUR per year will be available to Croatia during the seven-year framework of the direct incentive.
3 MAIN OBJECTIVES
- promoting the competitiveness of agriculture;
- ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and climate change;
- reaching a balanced territorial development of rural areas, including the creation and preservation of existing jobs.
- promoting knowledge and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas;
- increasing the sustainability of farms and competitiveness of all types of agricultural activities in all regions, thereby promoting agricultural technology and innovation, and sustainable forest management;
- promoting the organization of the food industry chains, including processing and marketing of agricultural products, animal welfare and risk management in agriculture;
- restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems in relation to agriculture and forestry;
- increasing the resource efficiency and shift toward the climate-resilient economy with low carbon output in the agricultural, food and forestry sectors;
- promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.
The goals and priorities will be implemented through 20 measures and here are some of them:
- development of the agricultural economy and entrepreneurship. The funds will be intended for young entrepreneurs, the development of small farms, the initiation of non-agricultural activities on farms and investments in the development of non-agricultural activities in rural areas to micro and small economic entities;
- investment in the development of forest areas and improving the profitability of forests;
- investment in physical equipment (among other things, it will be possible to allocate the funds in agricultural holdings, or earmark the funds for processing, improvement and search of the agricultural products, or improvement of the functioning infrastructure and adaptation of agriculture and forestry)
- establishing producer groups and organizations of various types of producers;
- investment in quality programs for agricultural products and foodstuffs;
- payments related to areas with natural constraints or other special restrictions;
- restoration of agricultural land and production potential disrupted by natural disasters, adverse climatic conditions and catastrophic events.
Compared to the previous IPARD Programme application procedure for the new Programme will be notably simplified.
Here are just some of the major changes:
- users will not have to be registered in the VAT System,
- no more restrictions on the minimum and maximum of the production capacity (unless sectorial analysis indicates otherwise)
- the possibility of advance payment of up to 50% of the aid amount
- allowed leasing
- field control only 5% (previously 100% prior to the payment). The rest is administrative and according to the risk assessment
The above mentioned activities and changes in the procedure are only part of the Programme. We will inform in detail about every open tender, in accordance with its publication by the Ministry.