Gruevski: Over 33 million EUR set aside for rural development in 2016

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The 2016 budget provides for 33,3 million EUR in rural development, money that will be spent on improving infrastructure for smaller communities such as water supply systems, irrigation and the program for enlarging farms to boost production. VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski discussed the rural development budget at his meeting with Agriculture Ministry representatives on Tuesday.

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“The program for rural development has been prepared in cooperation and dialogue with representatives of farmers, universities that deal in agronomy, manufacturers and municipal leaders”, Gruevski said following the meeting. The meeting included mayors of several municipalities that have high rates of acceptance for rural development funds.

Agriculture Minister Mihail Cvetkov said that they have 80 agriculture engineers ready to assist farmers prepare their applications for financial aid used to improve their production. Minister Cvetkov added that the fund for backing farmer’s loans has recently been made operational, and as its first project, is supporting the opening of a large dairy farm near Struga.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Vanco Kostadinovski said that a the new round of a program that helps young farmers start their business opens for applications on Wednesday. It awards young farmers up to 10.000 EUR for investment in their agriculture business, and Cvetkov said that over 750.000 EUR were awarded through the program in 2015.