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

Support

Implemented programmes of support

 
 
 
The implementation of the Rural Development Programme for Lithuania 2013 (hereinafter – the RDP 2007–2013) was successfully completed on 31 December 2015.
 
All the funds provided for this Programme were absorbed. In total, EUR 2.286 billion in support was allocated for enhancement of the competitiveness of the Lithuanian agricultural sector, environmental and landscape management, improvement of the living conditions of rural residents, strengthening of small businesses and increase in the growth of employment in rural areas.
 
Acceptance of applications
 
During the entire 2007–2013 period, the measures directly related to agriculture were the most popular among beneficiaries. A large number of applications were received, and the approved investment projects were implemented in a timely and smooth manner. “Modernisation of agricultural holdings” stood out as one of the most popular measures; 12,231 projects were approved and EUR 473 million was paid out under this measure. Foresters actively sought to take advantage of available state and European Union (EU) support. Over 13,000 applications were approved and almost EUR 146 million was disbursed under the investment and compensatory measures intended for the forestry sector. The amount of support allocated for processing of agricultural products and increasing of value added totalled EUR 119.39 million. “Setting up of young farmers” could be distinguished as one of the RDP 2007–2013 measures which attracted most attention. A total of 2,673 young farmers received support; the amount of EUR 103.52 million was paid out to them.
 
Over nine years of implementation of the RDP 2007–2013, the highest number of applications was received under the RDP compensatory measures aimed at improving the environment and the countryside. Under these measures, compensatory payments were made for certain operational restrictions. During 2007–2015, 748,055 applications were approved and the amount of support exceeding EUR 814 million was paid out under the compensatory measures. The largest number of applications (624,244) was submitted under the area-related measure “Payments to farmers in areas with handicaps, other than mountain areas”. The aid paid to farmers in lessfavoured areas amounted to EUR 338.21 million.
During this financial period, the applicants evaluated favourably the measures intended for alternative activities. Many applications were submitted for business creation and development (536), promotionof rural tourism activities (355), etc. The amount of support intended to promote business creation and development totalled EUR 103.14 million, whereas the amount earmarked for promotion of rural tourism activities equalled EUR 40.84 million. Under the measure “Support for business creation and development”, the applicants sought support mainly for business creation and development in the fields of quarrying, granule production and construction.
 
The most popular measure among rural residents was the programme for the replacement of asbestos roofing launched in 2012; 11,883 applications were approved and the amount of support exceeding EUR 21 million was approved for the implementation of such projects.
 
A particular focus was placed on initiatives of local action groups. They significantly contributed to improvement of the quality of life in rural areas, engagement of people into the improvement of their environment, infrastructure development, enhancement of entrepreneurship, and creation of new jobs. Local action groups were granted support amounting to EUR 105.95 million. In total, 3,379 projects were approved under the measure “Local development strategies”.
 
Among the projects implemented by communities, infrastructure improvement initiatives were in the first position: community homes and public spaces were cleaned and fixed, and a number of water management projects were completed. Public activity and business projects were implemented as well. The implementation of local strategies helped not only develop and upgrade material facilities but also strengthen mutual trust among rural residents, enhance the participation in the decision-making process related to local development and encourage youth to engage in local initiatives.
 
Furthermore, the support management process, which had been constantly improved, significantly contributed to the successful implementation of the RDP 2007–2013: the support management mechanisms were streamlined by transferring the function of support management to territorial divisions and creating conditions to submit applications for support in any of them or using electronic means; cooperation with other institutions was improved by ensuring that the Agency receives applicant documents directly from them; administrative visits were launched: seeking to help with the implementation of projects, the Agency’s experts visit beneficiaries and resolve any problems that have arisen together with them. With a view to ensure that all the funds allocated to Lithuania for 2007–2013 are absorbed, the monitoring of potentially risky projects was carried out, and funds allocated to the projects that were terminated due to serious irregularities were redistributed to finance more popular measures.
 
To summarise the achieved results of this period and emphasise the significance of EU funds for agriculture and rural development in Lithuania, the best project competition was held in September 2015. A special event was organised to pay a tribute to and award the promoters of the best projects implemented under the Rural Development Programme for Lithuania 2007–2013. The best projects were selected in the areas of a modern and advanced farm, business development in rural areas, creating a more beautiful environment, tourism development in rural areas, development of organic farming, successful setting up of a young farmer, and forest development and enhancement.
 
 
Interesting statistics:
 
  • AXIS 1 “Increasing the competitiveness of agriculture, food and forestry sectors”:
    • 2,673 young farmers were set up;
    • 5,835 farms were modernised;
    • 637 tractors harvesters were acquired;
    • Support for the purposes of processing of agricultural products was made available to 77 micro/small enterprises, 68 medium enterprises, and 48 large enterprises.
  • AXIS 2 “Improving the environment and the countryside”:
    • afforested area: 25 791 ha;
    • length of fixed irrigation canals: 6,162 km.
  • AXIS 3 “Quality of life in rural areas and diversification of the rural economy”:
    • 413 new micro businesses were set up. Support for business development was made available to 123 micro enterprises;
    • 146 new rural tourism resorts were set up. The support was made available to 187 rural tourism resorts already in operation.
  • AXIS 4 “LEADER”:
    • number of created new jobs: 902;
    • number of reconstructed buildings in rural areas: 900;
    • number of established craft centres: 76;
    • number of upgraded rural heritage properties: 173.
 

 
 
The year 2015 is the year of completion of the Lithuanian Fisheries Sector Operational Programme 2007–2013. Upon the final collection of applications, the last contracts were signed, and 98 per cent of the total funds allocated for this programming period were paid out.

The National Paying Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture presented awards to the best projects in the fisheries sector in December 2015.

Support funds were mainly used to modernise aquaculture companies and enhance their competitiveness, thus contributing to the development of aquaculture in Lithuania. Support to the community of the fisheries sector helped to clean and fix public spaces, create better conditions for work and rest, prepare fishing and ecotourism routes, organise festivals representing the fisheries region and implement innovative fish farming and other technologies.

Under the measures of the Lithuanian Fisheries Sector Operational Programme 2007–2013, 448 contracts were signed and the amount undertaken to be disbursed for projects was EUR 72.4 million, of which 16 contracts for EUR 10.3 million were signed in 2015. Under the measures of the Lithuanian Fisheries Sector Programme 2007–2013, the amount disbursed totalled EUR 70.9 million, of which EUR 14.7 million was paid in 2015. This year, the beneficiaries actively submitted final payment claims and the NPA experts evaluated them; therefore, almost all the projects were completed by the end of the year. Other project promoters still have time to do this as the last payment claims can be submitted until mid-year 2016.
 
 
Interesting statistics:
 
  • 194 jobs were created (LAGFA);
  • the largest amount during the entire programming period, i.e. EUR 14.7 million, was paid out in 2015;
  • during the Programme implementation period, 2.45 million of eels (449,000 of which in 2015) were planted in public bodies of water;
  • 45 aquaculture companies were upgraded;
  • 21 fishing companies and 21 aquatic products processing companies were modernised;
  • the highest number of applications under this Programme was submitted in the city and district of Klaipėda.
 

 
 
The Single Programming Document of Lithuania for 2004–2006 (hereinafter “the SPD”) was prepared for the purpose of efficient use of EU structural funds. Support for rural development and fisheries was provided under the measures of priority 4 of the SPD. The main objective of the Rural Development and Fisheries Priority is to create a modern agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector on the basis of natural resources and national traditions, investing in alternative activities, traditional farming and diversification of economic activities. This support was provided as a non-refundable grant and made up 45 per cent to 100 per cent of eligible expenditure. In addition, the project operator had to contribute to project implementation by allocating a certain percentage of own funds depending on the activities supported.
 
This was one more EU programme of financial support for Lithuanian rural development and agriculture for the period 2004–2006. In addition, it provided for support for fisheries. Unlike in the case of the RDP 2004–2006, SPD support was provided by the Structural Funds, i.e. the Guidance Section of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) and the budget of the Republic of Lithuania. Over LTL 660 million was allocated for the implementation of Rural Development and Fisheries Priority measures in 2004–2006. Collection of applications under the measures of the SPD Rural Development and Fisheries Priority started in August 2004. A total of 2,352 applications were received during the entire period of collection of applications.
 
The total amount of support applied for exceeded LTL 960 million, i.e. the amount of support requested by applicants exceeded the amount of support granted for 2004–2006 by LTL 300 million or approximately 45 per cent. In 2004–2005, the Agency received applications in which the total amount of support applied for exceeded the total amount of support granted for 2004–2006. Therefore, applications were collected under only some of SPD measures in 2006.
 
Implementation of the SDP Rural Development and Fisheries Priority in Lithuania
 
No
Measure
Applications received in 2004–2007
Amount of support allocated (‘000 LTL) in 2004–2006
Total number of agreements signed
Value of agreements (‘000 LTL)
Amount paid (‘000 LTL)
number
amount (‘000 LTL)
1.
Investment in agricultural holdings
824
408,767
319,728.064
692
329,263.059
325,484
2.
Setting up of young farmers
753
62,441
55,653.984
676
55,810.370
55,654
3.
Improvement of the processing and marketing of agricultural product
45
112,148
89,798.686
35
91,244.665
90,176
4.1.
Agricultural water resources management
39
58,204
54,565.031
36
55,113.231
54,566
4.2.
Reparcelling
14
2,623
2,574.639
14
2,622.465
2,573
4.3.
Consulting services for farms
24
37,209
5,549.536
11
6,592.454
5,754
4.4.
Diversification of agriculture and relevant economic sectors in order to achieve a comprehensive range of economic activities and create alternative income sources
34
29,447
13,478.991
16
13,975.167
14,142
4.5.
Encouraging rural tourism and craft activities
118
104,527
32,009.898
39
35,847.544
35,561
5.
Forestry
85
25,911
20,019.842
71
19,034.625
20,020
6.
LEADER+ type measure activity "Acquisition of skills“
155
18,132
8,162.170
106
8,348.325
8,162
7.
Training
99
8,513
2,069.166
39
2,481.252
2,069
 
TOTAL EAGGF:
2,190
867,922
603,610.007
1,735
620,333.157
614,161
8.
Activities related to the fishing fleet
49
79,788
39,726.522
34
39,726.522
39,727
9.
Conservation and development of aquatic resources, fisheries, fishing port facilities, fish processing, marketing and inland fishing*
27
25,492
18,157.220
19
12,371.125
17,709
10.
Other activities (related to fisheries)
86
2,384
1,462.060
73
1,706.925
1,448
 
TOTAL FIFG:
162
107,664
59,345.802
126
53,804.572
58,884
 
TOTAL:
2,352
975,586
662,955.809
1,861
674,137.729
673,045
 
 

 
 
In the programming period 2004–2006, one of the EU programmes of financial support for Lithuanian rural development and agriculture was the Rural Development Plan 2004–2006 (hereinafter “the RDP 2004–2006”). The general purpose of the RDP 2004–2006 was to improve the competitiveness of agriculture, create opportunities for the diversification of activities and promote environmental protection.
 
LTL 1.69 billion were granted for all measures. All of this support had to be paid by 31 December 2008. The RDP 2004–2006 was successfully implemented: 100% of the allocated funds were used.
 
Table No 12. Implementation of the RDP 2004–2006
  No
Measure
Number of applications submitted
Number of applications authorised / evaluated
Number of beneficiaries
Amount of support paid (million LTL)*
1.
Early retirement from farming
21,558
21,558
20,547
609.27
2.
Less favoured areas and areas with environmental restrictions
329,143
329,143
216,788
611.34
3.
Agri-environment
3,945
3,945
2,959
581.81
4.
Afforestation of agricultural land
1,436
1,436
1,022
39.28
5.
Support for semi-subsistence farms undergoing restructuring
3,195
3,195
2,634
42.19
6.
Meeting standards
6,000
6,000
5,684
432.57
7.
Technical assistance
13
13
2
19.7
Total:
365 290
365,290
249,636
2,336.16
*Payments including continuous measures
 
RDP 2004–2006 measures “Meeting standards”, “Afforestation of agricultural land” and “Early retirement from farming” are continuous measures lasting for a number of years, and their management is therefore a continuous process. The remaining support funds for such continuous measures are paid from financial support for the period 2007–2013. In 2013, LTL 49.6 million was paid under the measure “Early retirement from farming” and LTL 0.62 million under the measure “Afforestation of agricultural land”.
 

 
 
On 21 June 1999, the Council of the European Union adopted Regulation (EC) No 1268/1999 on Community support for pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the pre-accession period. Based on this document, countries seeking EU membership were planned to receive financial support under the Special Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (hereinafter “SAPARD”) in 2000–2006. This support was allocated for gradual harmonisation of the existing national policy with the EU rural development policy.
 
SAPARD was the first programme managed by the Agency. In the course of the implementation of the programme, beneficiaries received LTL 577.5 million.
 
Payment of support under SAPARD ended in 2006 and supervision of the last project ended on 27 December 2013.
 
SAPARD implementation in Lithuania
Measure
Number of applications received
Number of agreements signed
Amount paid (million LTL)
Investment in primary agricultural production
578
445
226.6
Improvement of the processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products
69
42
225
Development of economic activities and promotion of alternative income
96
48
27.8
Improvement of rural infrastructure
321
183
90.8
Afforestation of agricultural land and improvement of forest infrastructure
3
0
0
Vocational training
109
102
7,2
Technical assistance and information
46
46
0.1
Total:
1,222
866
577.5
 
 
Last updated: 2018-04-12 08:44