European grant programmes are an important tool to support farmers in Bulgaria. These programs provide an opportunity to receive financial support for the development of existing or the launch of new agro projects. In 2023, a number of these programs offer renewed and attractive financing opportunities that can significantly support the development of farms in the country.
Farmers are a key component in the economic structure of Bulgaria and an important factor for the sustainable development of regional and rural areas. European grant programmes aim to promote innovation, sustainable resource management and the competitiveness of farmers at local and European level.
Among the current programs for 2023 stands out the “Strategic Plan for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas of the Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2023 - 2027,” which offers a wide range of measures and opportunities for financial support. This program is aimed at improving production practices, increasing efficiency and increasing the added value of farm output.
Applying to European programmes is a process that requires careful preparation and a good understanding of the criteria and conditions for application. Farmers can use the professional help of accounting firm “Elan Consulting” for successful application and management of their projects funded by the European Union.
In addition to financial support, European programmes also offer the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge with farmers from other European Union countries. This allows Bulgarian farmers to integrate new technologies and sustainable practices into their activities, which contributes to increasing their business potential and competitiveness on the European agribusiness market.
European grant programmes are designed to support various sectors of the economy, including agricultural production. In 2023, several key programs are open for application by farmers in Bulgaria, each offering different opportunities for development and improvement of the agro sector.
“The Strategic Plan for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas of the Republic of Bulgaria for the Period 2023 - 2027,”is one of the most significant programmes, offering a wide range of measures to support farmers. This programme is central to rural development and offers concrete opportunities for investment in new equipment, modernisation of existing production bases, and improvement of production practices on farms.
Also open for application in 2023 are other European programs that focus on different aspects of agribusiness. An example of such a program is the one to support innovation and the introduction of new technologies in agricultural farms, which aims to increase the competitiveness of Bulgarian farmers on the European market.
Accounting firm “Elan Consulting” offers professional assistance to farmers for successful application to these programs. Elan Consulting specialists understand the specifics of different European programs and can offer competent assistance in the process of submitting project proposals, as well as in the management of approved projects.
The European grant programmes in 2023 represent an excellent opportunity for farmers to accelerate the development of their businesses and improve their production practices. Successful application and implementation of projects under these programs can have a significant positive effect on the efficiency and sustainability of agribusiness in Bulgaria.
Preparation and application under the Rural Development Programmes 2023-2029 require specific expertise in the field of European law and an understanding of the specific requirements and evaluation criteria. For farmers, this is an opportunity to take advantage of significant resources to develop their farms, but also a challenge to prepare competently.
Accounting firm “Elan Consulting” can be a valuable partner in this process. Elan Consulting specialists have extensive experience in preparing application documents for various European programs, including those for rural development. They can help farmers develop strong project proposals that meet all requirements and have a high chance of approval.
The development of quality project proposals requires a good knowledge of the specific objectives and priorities of the programmes, as well as of the specific conditions and application criteria. Elan Consulting can offer not only technical assistance in the preparation process, but also strategic advice to optimize project proposals so that they meet the requirements of the programs in the best way.
Applying for the Rural Development Programmes 2023-2027 is an important step towards sustainable development of farms. Successful projects can contribute to improving the technological equipment, production efficiency and competitiveness of farmers at local and European level.
Preparing and applying for these programs can be a laborious and complex process, but with the right support and professional advice, the chances of success are significantly higher. Accounting firm “Elan Consulting” is ready to offer its experience and competence to support farmers in this important process.
In the period 2023 - 2027, the Republic of Bulgaria provides opportunities for obtaining direct payments and grants to farmers through the Strategic Plan for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas. These possibilities are regulated in “ORDINANCE No. 3 of 10.03.2023”, which specifies in detail the conditions and procedure for application of the interventions.
The main forms of direct payments included in the Strategic Plan cover a variety of interventions that aim to support farmers in different aspects of their activities. This includes basic and additional income support for sustainability, climate and environmental eco-schemes, additional incentives for young farmers and specific payments for certain crops such as cotton.
In addition to standard direct payments, the regulation also provides for transitional national aid, which is regulated in accordance with European Union regulations. This provides additional financial support for Bulgarian farmers within the framework of the EU's common agricultural policy.
It is important to note that the implementation of these interventions is associated with a series of checks and conditions. These include administrative and on-the-spot checks to ensure that funds are used correctly and in accordance with established criteria. In the event of failure to fulfil obligations or where non-compliance is detected, farmers may be subject to payment reductions or administrative penalties.
Within the framework of the Strategic Plan for the Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas, the Republic of Bulgaria offers various forms of direct payments. They aim to support farmers in various aspects of their activities, while promoting sustainable agriculture and environmental protection.
Basic income support for sustainability (SSP) is designed to help farmers cope with all forms of external economic pressure and ensure income stability. This is a key measure that provides the basis for financial stability for farmers.
Eco-schemes are another important part of the direct payments system. They are related to climate, the environment and animal welfare. Through these schemes, farmers are encouraged to implement sustainable practices that favour environmental protection and animal welfare.
Additional incentives for young farmers and specific payments for certain crops, such as cotton, are designed to address specific needs and challenges in the sector. They seek to encourage new generations of farmers and support crops that are fundamental to the country's economy.
Receiving direct payments is associated with strict conditions and requirements. They are designed to ensure that the funds provided are used in the most efficient and sustainable way.
Administrative and on-the-spot checks play a key role in the control mechanism. They shall ensure that farmers comply with the established rules and criteria when using direct payment funds.
Where non-compliance or non-fulfilment of obligations is found, farmers may be subject to reductions in payments. This ensures that the direct payments system is fair and results-oriented.
In addition to administrative checks, the ordinance also provides for a system of administrative sanctions. They are applied in the event of serious violations or systemic failures, and are intended to ensure compliance with established standards and requirements.
In addition to the main forms of direct payments, the Strategic Plan also provides for additional incentives for farmers. They are designed to respond to specific needs and challenges in the sector.
Transitional national aid is one of the key additional measures provided for in the Regulation. It is regulated in accordance with European Union regulations and provides additional financial support for Bulgarian farmers.
The objective of transitional national aid is to ensure a smooth transition to the new conditions and requirements of the EU's common agricultural policy. It is designed to help farmers adapt to changing conditions and ensure the stability of the sector.
In conclusion, additional incentives and transitional national aid play a key role in the common system of direct payments. They are designed to support farmers in different aspects of their activities and to ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the sector in a global context.
For the period up to 31 December 2024, the European Commission has approved special aid for farmers aimed at improving animal conditions in the pig sector. This aid, designated SA.104590, is intended for farmers who have made voluntary commitments to ensure the welfare of pigs. Through this initiative, farmers can receive direct subsidies that cover up to 100% of the eligible costs of implementing measures that go beyond the mandatory standards established by EU legislation.
The State aid scheme was established in accordance with Part II, Section 188.8.131.52 of the European Union Guidelines on State Aid in the Agriculture and Forestry Sectors and in Rural Areas 2014-2020, as well as Article 12 (1), item 2 of the Farmers Support Act. These documents serve as the legal basis for the implementation of the assistance and for the management of subsidies from the State Fund “Agriculture”.
Like the welfare aid for pigs, the European Commission has also approved aid for farmers who have made voluntary commitments to improve animal conditions in the poultry sector. The aid, designated SA.104589, is valid until 31 December 2024 and offers direct subsidies covering up to 100% of the eligible costs of implementing measures that go beyond mandatory EU standards.
The legal basis for this aid is the same as for the pig welfare aid and also includes specific guidance from the State Agriculture Fund for the implementation of the State aid scheme in the poultry sector.
In order to optimize the process of production of quality agricultural products in the “Fruits and Vegetables” sector, the European Commission has approved aid for certification of farms under the GLOBALG.A.P standard. This aid, with number SA.107345, is valid until 31 December 2029 and aims to reduce the use of chemical raw materials as well as to minimise the adverse environmental impact of agricultural operations.
The aid shall be provided through the provision of direct subsidies covering up to 100% of the eligible costs of certification under the standard. The legal basis for this aid includes various EU regulations and guidelines, as well as national legislation which sets out the framework and conditions for granting state aid in the field of agriculture.
In order to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises from primary agricultural production and processing of agricultural products to participate in exhibitions, the European Commission has approved aid withnumber SA.107639, valid until 31 December 2029 d. This aid is intended to cover the costs associated with participation in exhibitions and thus encourage farmers to present their products to the general public.
The form of the aid is a subsidised service and the aid intensity can reach up to 100% of the eligible costs of participation in exhibitions. The legal basis for this aid includes various EU regulations and national legislation which sets out the conditions for granting State aid in the agricultural, forestry and rural sectors.