Dairy farms to get €7.7m in EU aid

About 9,000 dairy farmers will receive aid from the European Union (EU) to the tune of about €7.7 million for covering losses caused by the Russian embargo on EU food imports, the government ruled Tuesday.

The sum is supposed to cover the period lasting from August to October 2014.

The calculations and payments will be made by the Agriculture Ministry’s Rural Support Service, based on data provided by the Agricultural Data Center. Because producers are not required to apply for the support, they must be registered in the unified agricultural information system.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, since Russia imposed its food embargo the milk procurement price has declined gradually over the period between August and October. In November and December, the average price increased slightly.

One of the criteria necessary to receive the support concerns the question of competition. Producers who have ceased milk supplies and liquidated their herds should not be eligible for the support. This is due to the fact that farmers who are still actively producing ought to receive the financial aid, the ministry explained.

According to the Agricultural Data Center's data from August-October 2014, Latvia had 9,502 active milk producers, however, by December 31, 2014, a number of them had liquidated their milk herds and ceased all milk supplies, thus becoming disqualified for the support.

Thus, the regulation now applies to an estimated 9,000 producers.

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