APIA Mureș is in full activity regarding field control, with a completion deadline of the end of September. To this action is added many others about which Ovidiu Săvâșcă, executive director of APIA Mureș, spoke to us.
Reporter: What is the current activity at APIA Mureș level?
Ovidiu Săvâșcă: Just like our colleagues from the 42 APIA county centers in the country, we manage, in addition to the single payment request, the related current activities, namely administrative control, control in the field, activity that is in full swing, with a deadline of completion September 30, 2022, precisely so that the files can be prepared for payment and for those who were the subject of the control on the ground. In addition to all these current activities carried out by APIA every year, here is that this year, through the Ministry of Agriculture, APIA has come up with some additional support schemes we would say compared to what the payments meant in previous years. We had a payment scheme to support the activity of farmers, in the context of the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, to support the activities of breeders in the cattle, pig and poultry sectors, applications that were submitted somewhere at the end of May, the beginning of June, applications which were honored for payment during June 29-30.
Rep.: What support schemes are we talking about?
OS: Mureș County ranks an honorable 4th nationally in terms of the number of beneficiaries in the cattle sector. The preoccupation of the Muresian farmers for raising cattle is known. As I said, we are in 4th place at the national level with 3,224 beneficiaries for a number of 68,365 eligible heads, for a total amount of 8,670,733 lei. In the pig sector, we have 8 beneficiaries for an amount of 3,299,843 lei, and in the poultry sector, in poultry, we had 13 beneficiaries who received an amount of 1,364,087 lei. Here, the total value of these amounts, aid transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries in Mureș County, is a total of 13,334,663.86 lei, money allocated at the end of June for those who suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep.: We are on the last hundred meters for submitting applications for other exceptional aid. What it is?
OS: Between August 27 and September 15, APIA Mureș receives applications for exceptional aid to support the following activities: breeding and/or fattening and/or reproduction of pigs, breeding and/or reproduction and/or incubation of birds. We are currently receiving these applications for the pig and poultry sectors. It is the second support measure in addition to the classic welfare measure, so to speak, that farmers who are authorized sanitary-veterinary and who benefit from that welfare measure are used to. There are 2 support schemes, for the second one we are in the process of receiving applications for which we commit ourselves to make the payment of these exceptional aids to agricultural producers, respectively animal breeders, the pig species and bird. I would like to mention here the amount that is awarded because it is a substantial one. It is 200 euros/UVM for breeding animal production capacity (sows and/or mounted gilts) and 50 euros/UVM for fattening pig production capacity. The total amount that can be granted for each beneficiary is capped up to the equivalent in lei of 150,000 euros. It is calculated according to the production capacity under minimum well-being conditions, UVM equivalent, up to the competition of the ceiling equivalent in lei of 150,000 euros. If we talk about the poultry sector, for poultry, the amount is 50 euros/UVM for the production capacity of heavy breed breeding hens and/or breeding youth, laying hens and/or replacement youth, and 20 euros/UVM for the capacity of production of broilers, turkeys, as well as hatched chickens and/or serially hatched turkeys. In the poultry sector, for birds, the competition ceiling is equivalent in lei to 100,000 euros for each beneficiary. September 15 is the deadline for submitting applications, and as for the payment, this will be done at an accelerated pace, so that in two weeks, as we are obliged by the normative act to make the payment.
Rep.: You spoke of support for the livestock sector. But what about the plant sector?
OS: All these schemes that we have talked about so far are schemes in addition to the classic aid that farmers received year after year through APIA. We had a period between August 19 and September 2 when APIA received requests for exceptional aid from producers operating in the plant sector. It is a financial support scheme whose objective is to provide a financial grant to the agricultural producer in the vegetable sector to support some expenses committed between February 24 and August 12, the purchase of material resources, respectively of fertilizer products and/or plant protection products and /or diesel, required in 2022 on areas with orchards and/or fruit bushes and/or vineyards with wine grapes that use resources efficiently, manage nutrients and apply production methods favorable to the environment and climate through the agricultural activity of maintaining the plantations that they carry out. We are talking about permanent cultures. I repeat, it is an aid given to farmers who work in the vegetable sector, namely in fruit growing and vines.
Rep.: How many beneficiaries are there at the level of Mureș county?
OS: We had around 160 beneficiaries. We are working on administrative control, the deadline for making payments is September 30, 2022. The unitary financial grant is in the amount of 875 lei/hectare, equivalent to the amount of 176.8 euros per hectare. Practically, it is a support almost as much as the aid given on the SAPS, on the single payment request. The direct payment per area is approximately the same amount, so we are talking about another payment per area, if we equate the amount, it is similar as well as the amount, this aid that comes to support those who work in orchards and vineyards.
Rep.: What news does 2022 bring?
OS: It is well known that APIA issues those bridge certificates until the subsidy is collected in the plant sector. From this year, given the strange conditions, so to speak, the advanced pedological drought in particular that was felt very strongly in the southern part and in Moldova, less so in Transylvania, APIA, through the Ministry of Agriculture, found a way that starting from 2022 to grant certificates to livestock farmers. This is the first year this has happened. Until now, they were granted only to those active in the vegetable sector. We further issue these bridging certificates until the grant is received. Through the certificate issued by APIA, we confirm that the farmer, on the date of issuance of the certificate, is not subject to payment exclusions for schemes in the livestock sector and that he meets the general conditions for granting the due amounts. We have hundreds of farmers, I even think we have reached a thousand who have applied for these credit certificates until the subsidy is collected. We consider it a welcome thing that the farmer only goes with the surface declaration or the number of animals he has in the holding and can benefit from a credit of up to 90% of the amount of the subsidy to which he is entitled to payment in the respective year. As a novelty for APIA, we also managed the well-known “Microgrants in the agri-food field” measure. This year, at the level of Mureș county, we managed and made the payment to 153 beneficiaries, authorized natural persons, micro-enterprises. The value of this support was 5,000 euros per beneficiary. It is about the amount of 3,785,067 lei that was transferred to the beneficiaries who accessed the micro-grant scheme in the agri-food sector. At this moment, given the fact that this money was transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries, they have the obligation to submit, within 30 days, the supporting documents that were the basis for making the expenses and which are to be uploaded to the IMM Recover application by eligible applicants.
Rep.: What are the classic APIA activities from this period?
OS: During this period, APIA Mureș pays the state aid for diesel. During Tuesday, September 13, we processed the payment orders, and on Wednesday, September 14, the money entered the accounts of Mures farmers for a number of 177 beneficiaries in the livestock sector and 323 beneficiaries in the vegetable sector who will benefit from the aid payment granted by the state in the form of reimbursement for diesel fuel used in agriculture related to quarter 2, respectively the period April 1 – June 30, 2022.
Rep.: We arrive at the control in the field. What stage is it in?
OS: We are in the process of completing the control activities on the ground, an activity that started somewhere in July, with a completion date of September 30, 2022. We are enjoying, let’s say it with quotation marks, a considerable sample. We are on the 2nd place in the country in terms of cargo, i.e. number of parcels that came under control. We are a county, as I mentioned earlier, whether we are talking about zotechnie, or we are talking about a county where farmers, thanks to the landscape and the specificity of the agricultural activity, access almost everything that means the support measure carried out through APIA, an aspect that it also leads to a larger control sample. If you have several support schemes that you access, by default the control is proportional to the number of schemes accessed. You have many schemes accessed, implicitly you also have a larger control sample. We are happy, and with strict quotation marks, of a considerable sample, over 18,000 parcels that my colleagues in these 2 and a half months have to visit and take data from the field, confirm the surfaces as well as the crops declared. We are going at a pretty good pace and we have every hope that we will meet the deadline for the control activity in the field.
Rep.: What happens after September 30?
OS: After September 30, we have a deadline of two weeks for the data to be entered from the control reports collected from the field into the computer application, for those who were subject to the field control, in this case, about 800 farmers controlled by classical control and 1,200 farmers through remote sensing. From October 16, all those who submitted the single application, including those who were subject to the control in the field, to benefit from the payment of the advance. The payment of the advance is completed somewhere on November 30th, so that from December 1st we start the final payment or the regular payment, as we say.
Recorded by Alin ZAHARIE