ESTONIA: Government plans to support risk management in organic farming by subsidizing insurance premiums

As part of a Governmental plan to support organic farming, Estonian farmers involved in this segment will benefit starting 2019 from a 70% contribution of the State to the premiums paid by farmers in crop insurance, livestock and plant insurance, if the Ministry of Rural Affairs proposal will be approved.

The proposal for amending the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020 provides for a EUR 4.8 million increase of the financial support granted by the state, to EUR 87.2 million. The necessary money will be taken from budgeted expenditure items less actively used to date, such as support for agri-environmental production methods, spokespeople for the ministry said. According to The Baltic Course journal, the amount of money earmarked for support for organic farming was increased because a gap has emerged in the budget of the measure and the ministry was faced with the prospect of having to cut the rates of support.

Only insurance taken out against damage caused by adverse weather conditions and weather conditions comparable to a natural disaster, such as cold weather, storm, hail, ice, heavy rain or severe drought, is eligible for support, reports the mentioned source. Also eligible are insurance against animal and plant diseases, pests, and an environmental incident.

According to the draft decision of the government, crop cultivators in Estonia number approximately 9,500, cultivators of fruit trees, berries and nursery operators 1,300, and cattle farmers approximately 6,900. The target group of the measure is a maximum 2,100 applicants, including 1,900 producers having more than 100 hectares of land as well as 200 major cattle and pig farmers.

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