ERR EE – The Estonian government was reported to be boosting the extraordinary support for agriculture by €3.8 million in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector. Applicants will be able to start filing their requests mid-March, and the move follows a relaxation of the European Union’s state aid framework.
“The aid increase, approved by the cabinet Thursday after being proposed by rural affairs minister Urmas Kruuse (Reform) will bring total support for agriculture to €15.8 million in total, i.e. a 32 percent increase. The extraordinary funds will come out of Rural Development Foundation (MES) coffers, BNS reports. Kruuse said: “Agriculture and food production are areas of strategic importance for the state. The coronavirus crisis has had an averse effect on agriculture and rural entrepreneurs, and in order for the sector to survive the crisis, support needs to be directed to where it is needed most. Principles of equal treatment must be followed here, to ensure honest competition.”