Photo: Rok Breznik; Photo competion My Countryside
On the 13th of February 2015 the European Commission officially approved Slovenia’s Rural Development Programme (RDP) for the period 2014–2020.
Slovenia is thus in the first group of Member States that will be able to implement the measures of the new programme period. This confirmation ensures 1.1 billion euros for the development of Slovenian agriculture and rural areas, with 838 million euros coming from the EU budget.
Document: RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA 2014–2020 (13/2/2015)
Measures included under the Slovenian RDP 2014-2020 are:
The four biggest RDP measures in budgetary terms (total public funding) are:
The RDP of Slovenia will fund action under five out of six Rural Development Priorities. The focus of each priority is explained briefly below.
This cross-cutting Priority will be addressed through measures supporting training and advisory services for rural people and businesses: nearly 100 000 places on training courses will be provided. In addition, joint innovative activity of an economic, environmental or social character will be promoted, including in the framework of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.
In the long term, the agricultural holdings will improve their competitiveness through better economic and environmental performance and an increased share of young farmers among farm managers. 3.4 % of holdings will receive support to invest in organic production, adaptation to climate change, animal welfare, water and energy efficiency and general technological improvements. Furthermore, 3.5% of holdings should receive support for young farmers to get started and for structural adjustment after the initial setting-up.
Added value will be created by improving product quality and marketing, through support for new participation in quality schemes and for setting up producer groups. Furthermore, funded cooperation between agricultural holdings, processing companies and research institutions will help to develop new products and build short supply chains. This funding will be complemented by support for investments in processing and marketing agricultural products. There will also be funding for animal welfare practices going beyond compulsory standards.
29 % of farmland will be placed under funded contracts to improve biodiversity, 24 % under contracts for better water management and 27 % under contracts for improving soil management1 – including through organic farming, steps against erosion, better management of pesticides and fertilisers, and habitat maintenance. There will also be particular support for restoring forest habitats damaged by the sleet-andstorm disaster of February 2014.
The programme will fund Local Development Strategies drawn up and implemented by Local Action Groups under the LEADER approach: these will cover areas containing 66 % of the rural population. Support will also help to create and develop small businesses and allow farms to diversify into non-agricultural activities. Taken together, all these activities will help to create nearly 600 jobs.