Estonian agriculture sector to receive substantial support

If approved, there will be a 32% increase in agriculture support, raising it to €15.8 million, with funds lifted from the Rural Development Foundation (MES), rather than from the state budget, reported the Estonian broadcaster ERR News. [Shutterstock/Tatyana Aksenova]

Estonia’s agricultural sector should soon receive €3.8 million in aid to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as the already approved government aid proposed by Rural Affairs Minister Urmas Kruuse has a high likelihood of being greenlighted by the country’s parliament, the Riigikogu.

If approved, there will be a 32% increase in agriculture support, raising it to €15.8 million, with funds lifted from the Rural Development Foundation (MES), rather than from the state budget, reported the Estonian broadcaster ERR News.

The boost in aid was made possible due to the EU’s decision last month which allows greater flexibility in domestic state aid. 

Estonia’s agriculture sector is heavily dependent on foreign short-term labour, especially from Ukraine. However, the various coronavirus restrictions, particularly regarding travel, have put the sector under strain.

In a country that sees its own food production as being of strategic importance for the state, a decline in agriculture is not an option. (Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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