Банкеръ Weekly



The Managing Board of the Agriculture State Fund distributed last week the budget funds planned to support the sector. For 2003 these funds amount to BGN150MN. (This amount is added to the money launched under the SAPARD programme). According to the Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Mehmed Dikme, the major goal of this year investments in the branch will be the gradual introduction of new principles related to the application of European rules for direct subsidies and restriction of short-term credits. It means that the production of quality agricultural products, competitive both at home and abroad, will be stimulated first. As soon as the results from the fund's activity for the first half of 2003 are announced, BGN5MN will be allocated for export subsidies. This move will encourage the export as well as the production of competitive products, the Ministry of Agriculture comments. The resources will mainly be used for export of grain and dairy products.The ministry has reached an agreement with Franz Fischler, Secretary of Agriculture at the European Union, that Agriculture Fund take part in the crediting of farmers who have applied for financing under the SAPARD programme but have been rejected by a bank. For that purpose the state fund has allocated BGN100MN that will be launched in return to a 6% annual preferential interest rate to applicants who defend successfully their projects to the SAPARD National Committee. Minister Dikme explained to the BANKER weekly that credit applications will be made through one set of documents and everyone who has his project approved will be allowed to borrow resources from the fund. The resources provided by the state budget to the Agriculture Fund will go up by BGN75MN every year, the minister added.TableCapital subsidies to the Agriculture Fund for 2003Direction AmountThe Rhodopes programme BGN2MNNorthwestern Bulgaria regional programme BGN1MNFor perennial plantsVineyards BGN1MNRoses BGN200,000Orchards BGN800,000Nursery BGN650,000Greenhouses BGN500,000Rose production BGN230,000Bee-keeping BGN100,000

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