Support to short food supply chains in Lithuania | Support to short food supply chains in Lithuania
National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania
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2020.05.15

Support to short food supply chains in Lithuania

Support to short food supply chains in Lithuania
Yesterday – in the farmer's garden, today – already on the family table. For many buyers who value freshness and quality, it is already common to buy vegetables, fruits and berries, cheese, sausages and other farm-grown or farm-produced products directly from farmers. Such trade was not stopped even by the coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine introduced in the country: when marketplaces are empty, fresh food products can also be purchased directly from farmers online. However, Lithuanian farmers who sell their products themselves, say that they faced competition challenges even before the pandemic outbreak, since it is difficult to compete with the imported products.
 
It is difficult to get better outlets in big cities, which means that there is competition with resellers; the installation and maintenance of a point of sale is also costly. To overcome these and other obstacles, the farmers can also take the advantage of using the support of the European Union and state budget. The creation of short food supply chains in Lithuania is supported by the funds of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the national budget. The Lithuanian Rural Development Programme 2014–2020 (RDP 2014-2020) supports the “Support for short supply chains and local markets at the local level” activity of the “Cooperation” measure.
 
In the meantime the outbreak of the virus has opened up even more opportunities. Short chains allow to reduce marketing costs, ensure the freshness and quality of food. In turn, this increases the demand for agricultural products grown in Lithuania. The measure not only strengthens the competitiveness of producers in the local market, but also promotes cooperation and partnership between farmers and entrepreneurs operating in this field, encouraging joint projects on cooperation in the production of farm produce or processed products. Aiming to become more competitive and stronger, small and medium-sized farmers need to cooperate more actively. The support comprises market activities of the farm produce, establishment of outlets, hiring vendors, acquisition of equipment, setting up online shops, etc.
 
In view of the challenges posed to the population and businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementing rules for this measure were further extended in April of this year. The updated rules provide for the possibility of reimbursing the participants in the chain for disinfection and medical protection measures, supply of food and other daily necessities to the rural population. These costs are eligible for financing during the emergency situation declared by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania due to COVID-19. Since farmers are close to the rural population, who find it more difficult to obtain essential goods or pharmaceuticals during quarantine, the financial tool can support not only farmers' production, but also the supply of these essential goods to people living in rural areas.
 
The “Support for short supply chains and local markets at the local level” activity of the “Cooperation” measure under the RDP 2014-2020 of the Republic of Lithuania is managed by the National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Lithuania.
 
 
Last updated: 2020-07-21 14:41