The European Commission has approved a €300 million scheme to support the agri-food sector in Romania recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme, which was approved under the EU’s State Aid Temporary Framework, will involve direct grants of up to €120,000 per beneficiary.

It will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises active in the agricultural, fishery, aquaculture, and food industry sectors in Romania.

The funding aims to mitigate liquidity shortages faced by these companies and address some of the losses incurred due to the public health restrictions implemented by Romanian authorities to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The commission found that the Romanian scheme is in line with the conditions of the temporary framework as it would not exceed €2.3 million per beneficiary and will be granted no later than June 30, 2022.

It concluded that the measure is “necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state”.

EU Commission

The decision follows approval by the EU Commission for a €169 million scheme to support various milk producers across Spain.

The grants of up to €35,000 will support producers affected by the input costs increase caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the related sanctions.

The measure will be open to the producers of cow, sheep and goat milk in Spain affected by the increase in the price of electricity, animal feed and fuel.

Last month, the EU Commission also gave the green light to a similar support scheme for Polish farmers worth €836 million.

Under that measure, the aid will again take the form of direct grants and will be open to farmers affected by the increase in fertiliser costs.

Eligible farmers will be entitled to receive aid up to €107/ha of agricultural land and up to €53.50/ha of grassland and pasture. The aid will be capped at the amount corresponding to 50ha.