Farmers Suspend Protests until August 1: Authorities Allocate 200 Million Lei for Subsidies

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Farmers suspend protests until August 1. The decision follows discussions with state authorities held yesterday. Agriculture Minister Vladimir Bolea said that out of the initially requested 700 million lei to subsidize farmers, an amount of 200 million lei was determined. “We are actively working out the regulations based on which this money will be distributed. These funds are mostly designated for smallholder and micro farmers. Subsidies will not be paid on the basis of an invoice, but on the basis of the size of land plot. This is all the Moldovan people can do, despite all the poverty, to help farmers overcome this difficult situation”, Bolea said. Farmers say they are unsatisfied with the authorities’ proposal. “We disapprove the proposals that the Minister put forward. During the time we were discussing the issue, better ways could have been found to help farmers. Our conversation was very heated and we exchanged different points of view”. “As a result, we issued an ultimatum to the Minister: by August 1 he must find additional sources of financing, deliver 4,000 tonnes of diesel fuel from Romania, and impose a moratorium on charging fines and borrower interest”, Alexandru Slusari, Chairman of the Forța Fermierilor association, said. Farmers protested in the Great National Assembly Square this week, demanding the authorities negotiate with them. The association Forța Fermierilor accuses the Government that some of the sums provided as additional funds to support the industry actually represent the state’s subsidy debt, according to applications that were submitted as recently as last year. Farmers demand that by August 1 the authorities allocate at least 3,000 lei per hectare to smallholder and medium-sized farmers for the first group of crops and temporarily limit imports of wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower from Ukraine.