Farmers can apply for EU compensation for Ukrainian grain imports in the autumn, announced Agriculture Minister István Nagy in a statement. The ministry will determine the conditions for claiming the €15.9 million compensation granted by Brussels to address the market difficulties caused by Ukrainian grain imports, taking into account the targeted use of the compensation.
The minister stressed that the scheme is intended to help both small farmers facing higher costs due to the prolonged storage period of last year’s maize stocks, which have not been sold for a long time, and those who have sold their crops still in storage until September 15. He added that farmers who had a maximum of 500 hectares of approved agricultural area under their single area payment application in 2022, and who received aid for up to 100 hectares of maize within that area, are eligible for compensation.
Compensation can be claimed for maize because it is the main Ukrainian import crop.
István Nagy highlighted in the statement that the farmers concerned would have to prove that they had sold at least 10 tons of maize in the period from May 15 to September 15.
Applications for aid are expected to be submitted to the Hungarian State Treasury between October 1 and 15. The minister also explained that the amount of compensation per hectare that can be claimed will be determined as the ratio of the €15.9 million budget to the area of maize approved for all applicants meeting the conditions. The compensation will be paid until December 31, 2023.
The European Union has extended
the restrictions on imports of grain from Ukraine, specifically wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds until mid-September. The body acceded to requests from five EU Member States – Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania – that it take immediate action to address the unsustainable situation caused by increased grain imports from Ukraine.
Agriculture Minister István Nagy stressed that the deadline of September 15 for EU countries neighboring Ukraine to lift the ban on the import of Ukrainian cereals into the EU is unacceptable. He said that an agreement had been signed “signaling that Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia will continue to cooperate on the Ukrainian cereals issue. He added that if the European Union does not extend the deadline to at least December 31, Hungary will “use all its means to protect Hungarian farmers.”
The minister stated that the Russian-Ukrainian war has led to a significant diversion of cereals from Ukraine to land routes via the EU’s neighboring Member States. The European Union has sought to contribute to the objective of ensuring that Ukrainian goods reach EU and third country markets in need through the operation of the solidarity routes. However, due to the inadequate functioning of these routes, Ukrainian cereals, in particular maize, have been stuck on the markets of Member States neighboring Ukraine instead of being transported onwards.
Nagy pointed out that
the large inflow of Ukrainian goods caused serious losses to farmers in the Member States concerned due to difficulties in selling, pressure on market prices and additional storage costs.
Following joint action by the Member States concerned – Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia – the European Commission decided to grant partial compensation. The total amount of €100 million is available to farmers in the EU countries concerned, based essentially on the proportion of their agricultural area, the minister concluded.
Via MTI, Featured photo via Pixabay