July 19, 2016
EU dairy farmers get additional 500 million euros in aid grants
Farmers in the European bloc, particularly those in the dairy sector, will get an additional 500-nillion-euro (£417 million) aid to help them cope with a lingering crisis brought about by low milk prices due to the scrapping of production quotas and a continuing import ban on Western products by Russia, the European Commission said.
The assistance package was presented by the EC at a farm ministers' gathering, the EC said in a statement.
Part of the package will come in the form of incentives for reduction in milk production worth 150 million euros. The rest (350 million euros) will be additional subsidies on top of aid granted by member states.
Earlier in September last year, the EC granted a 500-million-euro aid package that targeted mainly cash-flow difficulties and market stabilisation, as well as a plan in allowing voluntary agreements among milk producers to plan milk production.
The EC has, in less than a year, mobilised in excess of €1 billion in new money to support hard-pressed farmers.
"Coming at a time of significant budgetary pressures, this package provides a further robust response, and means that the Commission has mobilised more than €1 billion in new money to support hard-pressed farmers", Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan said.
"Our ultimate goal is to see the much-needed recovery of prices paid to farmers, so that they may make a living from their work and continue to provide safe, high-quality food for citizens, as well as their contribution to rural areas and rural jobs and the provision of public goods", he added.