Latvia to seek compensation for wet crops

  • 2005-09-28
  • Baltic News Service
RIGA - Agriculture Minister Martins Roze has said that the government might ask the European Commission for compensation to cover losses due to the heavy rains that ruined part of farmers' harvest.

In an interview to the Neatkariga daily, the minister said that other EU member states 's e.g., Finland 's have received compensation for similar events in the past. There have also been cases when a state is allowed to pay is compensation from its national budget.

"The need for such compensation should be reviewed each year," he said. "This is one of the issues we are going to discuss with the EC."

Regarding the use of domestic funds, the minister said, "Knowing how tight our state budget is, I really would not want to wring out compensation of this kind from it. The national budget should contain support programs that are not provided by the European Union."

Latvia's regions were stunned by incessant rainfalls at the beginning of August, which hindered the harvest and spoiled crops at many farms. To ease the situation, the Agriculture Ministry has asked the EC to start paying farmers land subsidies earlier than planned.

Latvian farmers might start receiving half of this money from Oct. 16, and the rest from Dec. 1. "But before the Rural Support Service can start doing this, farmers will have to correct all errors in their applications. According to the data of the Rural Support Service, approximately a quarter of all applications are imprecise," the minister said.