Ministry plans to phase out old farmers

  • 2004-02-12
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - The Lithuanian Agriculture Ministry has stated that it plans to use some 24 percent of EU agricultural subsidies, in addition to its own funds, for compensations to those who want to get out of the farming business.

According to the ministry, this year alone agricultural compensations will total 2.1 billion litas (669 million euros).
The application process will start next month with farmers who work in areas that are less conducive to agriculture or are restricted by environmental regulations, and it will be followed by farmers 55 years of age and older who want to discontinue farming. They may apply in June.
Elderly farmers can expect about 4,500 litas per year in the course of 15 years, but not after turning 75 years of age, according to the ministry. For those farmers with a spouse an addition 2,200 litas will be paid out annually.
Phasing out farmers is a sensitive but necessary issue, particularly in acceding EU states such as Lithuanian where the proportion of farmers per capita is much higher than in Western Europe.
The Agriculture Ministry said it saw significant support for the compensation system, with about 30,000 elderly farmers expected to cease their farming businesses and claim compensation.
All applications for compensation payments will be submitted to the Lithuanian National Payment Agency.