An additional 10 billion euros will be made available through the EU programme ‘Horizon’ in the period 2021-2027 to support specific innovation projects in the food, agriculture, rural development and bio-economy sectors, European Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said on Friday, in a videotaped message during a conference on the cyclical economy at the 11th Zootechnia held in Thessaloniki.
Schinas stressed that trade agreements between the European Union and international partners significantly support Greek export efforts, adding that over the next four years the EU has more than tripled its budget for the promotion of all agricultural food products on the world markets, including Greek ones, from 60 million to 200 million euros. “The opportunities to strengthen the promotion of Greek products with EU support are enormous, let’s use them,” he said.
Speaking about the Common Agricultural Policy, he pointed out that “this policy is the EU’s most effective response to the need to secure a decent living standard for 22 million farmers, for a stable and secure food supply for 500 million European citizens, but also for respecting our environmental heritage.”
Referring to the current 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme, he reiterated that Greek farmers are receiving 15 billion euros in direct payments to improve their income and added that Greek rural areas receive funding of 5.0 billion euros to boost rural development, aiming at the restructuring, modernisation, processing and marketing, as well as the transformation of the agricultural infrastructure for the primary sector.
However, as he noted, “the big bet is not only the use of EU funds. The big bet is the modernisation of Greek agriculture in the new era of research, innovation and digitisation, across the spectrum of agricultural products.”
In this context, he stressed that in the next period 2021-2027 “special support will be given to young farmers who represent the catalyst for the modernisation of agriculture in an increasingly competitive world.”