National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania

Support

Direct payments

Lithuania has been implementing the single area payment scheme since 2004. It is a support scheme under which direct payments decoupled from production are paid for the utilised agricultural area.
 
During the period from 16 October till 30 November 2017, NPA paid to farmers EUR 214 million in direct advance payments, and as from 1 December, it started paying the remaining share of payments. By the end of the year, EUR 411 million in direct payments reached the accounts of applicants. Also, the payment of support according to area-related measures of Lithuanian Rural Development Programme and additional national direct payments was started in December.
 
The experience gained through the simplification of the process of administration of applications helped achieving these results. Some actions were already carried out back in 2016, when inadequacies of applications of the most risky groups of applicants were analysed and information systems were improved giving up inefficient administration of very minor inadequacies.
 
In 2017, works were successfully extended: the analysis of sanctions imposed on and the debts formed in previous years was carried out, proposals were presented to the Ministry of Agriculture regarding their prevention, reduction of the number and scope, control mechanisms (procedure of selection for inspections) were published on NPA website, recommendations for preparing for inspections were provided, presenting good and bad examples. Applicants who Compared to the amount of support having reached applicants by the end of 2014, during the same period of this year NPA will pay twice more. Support has been paid increasingly faster, while the paid support amounts have been increasing each year (“Ūkininko Patarėjas”, 23-12-2017) In order to ensure that support funds reach the actual farmers, the NPA has taken a number of measures to stop payments to “sofa” farmers. Risk groups of applicants, which receive more attention when selecting farms for inspections, were identified last year. However, distinguishing possible “sofa” farmers from other applicants as early as possible is important, thus the NPA planned identifying risk groups of applicants as early as at the time of application administration (“Valstietis”, 23-03-2017) 3 decided to keep contact with NPA electronically helped accelerate the administration process: such applicants accounted for 75% in 2017 compared to only 50% in 2016.

Support without application – openness, transparency and partnership
 
The latest technologies are rapidly penetrating into various areas of life, including the agricultural sector. Improving satellite imagery resolution and developing information technologies open up new opportunities for improving the support administration process and implementing one of the key innovations - support for area-related measures for farmers to pay without them submitting applications therefor.
 
The concept of paying support to farmers without them submitting an application provides not only for waiving applications for support for area-related measures, but also the currently applicable control mechanisms and other unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. In order to make sure that farmers comply with requirements, to find out which crop species they raise and whether or not they comply with greening, organic farming and other assumed obligations, the agency’s specialists do not need to go for farm inspections. Having received satellite imagery, identified the field maintained by the farmer and checked the data available in registers, the agency would have the entire information about the farm managed by the farmer and could calculate and promptly pay support without imposing any sanctions.
 
Meanwhile, farmers should not worry about non-agricultural activities or bureaucratic procedures that distract from direct farm work. In addition, farmers could also avoid inspections that often are stressful. Only having observed a possible violation, inspectors would go to the site to check if eligibility requirements for support were truly violated. Having, in turn, given up its control function, the agency would become an equal partner to farmers providing the necessary information.
 
The concept of disbursing support, according to which farmers could be paid area-related measure support without submitting applications therefor, was introduced by representatives from Lithuania and Italy in the conference of directors of paying agencies of the European Union held in Malta in the spring of 2017. The legal basis of the concept was discussed at the meeting of the heads of paying agencies of the European Union the Learning Network held in Vilnius at the end of September, while its practical aspects were addressed in a joint project with the European Space Agency Sen4Cap and other international initiatives.
 
Here you can see a film about support without application.
 

The interesting statistics (declaration of agricultural land and crops in 2017):
  • Average age of the applicant – 58 years
  • The youngest applicant is 9 and the oldest – 104 years
  • The most applications were submitted in Alytus district municipality (5 112) and Šilalė district municipality (4 852)
  • A total number of applications submitted (“from home”) – 2 945
  • The greatest number of applicants having submitted their applications independently– Vilnius district (212) and Anykščiai district (142)
  • The largest declared areas for receiving the main direct payment for crops in Panevėžys district municipality (112 631.23 ha) and Kėdainiai district municipality (107 838.18 ha)
  • The largest declared area of arable land by crops “winter wheat” (634 490.34 ha), of which 39 365.96 ha are declared in Kėdainiai district
 
 
Last updated: 2018-04-12 08:42