Organic agriculture in Romania to benefit from over 200 million euros EU funds in next years

10, 2013, No. 45

Organic agriculture in the next seven years will benefit by over 200 million euros from European funds and the Government considers adopting some fiscal measures meant to stimulate this sector, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Daniel Constantin told Agerpres on November 7. “Organic agriculture has developed very much and much produce of this sector was exported. I think we can create a country brand by promoting bio produce and we can also certify the quality of the other Romanian produce. The allocation for organic agriculture in the new PNDR [national programme for rural development] is 200 million euros, compared to the current programme where the sums of money were much lower. I am sure that in the time to come the support for organic agriculture will not stop here and the Government will also take fiscal measures meant to stimulate organic agriculture,” said Constantin. Premier Victor Ponta said on November 6, at the beginning of the Government meeting, that he considered cutting VAT in 2014 for other categories of products, such as the bio ones. The Bio-Romania Association has recently requested the Romanian authorities to remove VAT for basic foods which are bio certified, such as meat, milk, eggs, bread, vegetables and fruit. The State Budget would not be affected as no tax evasion is possible in the organic agriculture system and the produce can have prices almost similar to the ones coming from conventional agriculture by means of a correct processing and distribution in the shops of Romania.

Romania has a huge potential in organic agriculture, with an area of 450,000 hectares certified for production and another 250,000 hectares with meadows and a number of 26,000 registered operators at the end of 2012. Romania exports 80 percent of its production, especially raw materials and very little processed produce.