State Fund Agriculture (SFA) has already signed contracts worth €2.399 billion under all Rural Development Programme (RDP) measures. This represents 74,27% of the RDP budget. Of this amount, €1.926 billion comes from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The EAFRD subsidies disbursed so far total €1.361 billion, or 52,28% of the EAFRD budget. The facts were presented during a press conference by SFA Executive Director Rumen Porozhanov.
In 2012, SFA signed contracts worth €803 million, €645 million of which are EU funds. “This was unquestionably the most successful RDP year,” Porozhanov said. The amount is bigger than the amount contracted in any previous year. In 2012, SFA paid €474 million, €381 million of which came from the EAFRD. This is also the biggest amount SFA has disbursed within a year so far.
Having in mind that beneficiaries are currently implementing projects with subsidies amounting to €930 million, SFA thinks it is possible to absorb the whole amount the fund is scheduled to pay in 2013.
During the press conference, the deputy minister of agriculture Svetlana Boyanova and Porozhanov repeated the reasons for the difficult absorption of money under Axis 2 of the RDP: the two-year delay in the start of the programme and the insufficient number of candidates. “We are already more optimistic and expect that this year we will pay twice the amount we paid in 2012,” Boyanova said.
Starting in 2013, agricultural producers will also be able to use the Guarantee Fund, whose budget is €120 million. “The public tender procedures are over, we have chosen the partner banks and we are only waiting on a decision on a tender appeal,” Boyanova said.