Currently, implementation of the Rural Development Program (RDP) for 2007-2013 has entered into an effective final stage. A public financing available under RDP 2007-2013, constituted EUR 1.383 billion. As at July 23, 2014, the paid-up projects constituted EUR 1.290 billion or 93% of the available financing.

The Ministry of Agriculture, upon consulting with sectoral organizations, has developed the new Rural Development Program for 2014-2020, which was officially submitted to the European Commission on April 15, 2014. EAFRD financing available for Latvia for the programming period 2014 – 2020 is by 11% more than in previous period – EUR 1.531 million.

RDP financing 2007-2013                  RDP financing 2014-2020

(green) Carry over from CAP Pillar I to Pillar II, EUR billion

(red) LV financing, EUR billion

(blue) EU financing, EUR billion

The new program has been developed in accordance with EU legislation, taking into account opinions of non-governmental organizations and based on experience of the previous period. Unlike the RDP of the previous period, the new program:

- is focusing more on the development of small and medium farms;

- investments are steered in such a way as to increase the number of economically active and market-oriented farms;

- is facilitating the development of cooperation in agriculture, fisheries and food chain;

- is ensuring that unused agricultural land is returned back into agricultural production.

For the purpose of implementation of the support from the Rural Development Program 2014-2020, the entire territory of Latvia is considered to be the rural territory, excluding cities and regional territorial units – towns with the number of population above 5000.

(Fig.2) The map showing implementation of RDP 2014-2020 measures

(green) Rural territory; (red) Not rural territory, but conforms to conditions for LEADER measures; (white) The territory not targeted by RDP 2014-2020

In order to achieve until 2020 the principal objective of Latvia’s Rural Development Program – “Augmentation of income, generated by production or economic activity, enabling rural population to support their families by their work”, the RDP financing will be distributed taking account of priorities and needs.

Knowledge and Training

The objective is facilitating the knowledge transfer and innovations in agriculture, forestry and rural territories. The financing, available for this priority, is EUR 43.50 million that constitutes 3% of the total RDP financing. In preceding period, 0.09% of the available financing was channeled to this priority.
The knowledge transfer and information measures – trainings, courses, seminars, workshops and exchange of experience in Latvia as well as a specific further education also in other countries (priority - EU). The financing allocated for this activity – EUR 13.38 million.
Advisory services, farm management and farm relief services – advisory at an individual level for farmers, forest owners and small and medium rural enterprises (turnover – up to EUR 15 thousand), in order to improve economic management that is linked to the environmental matters and climate friendly activities, as well as to improve viability of farms, enterprises and investments. The financing allocated for the activity – EUR 10.45 million.

Cooperation measure – to facilitate the cooperation among scientists, farmers, forest owners and food producers with a view to develop crop varieties, propagating material and technologies suitable for local conditions, the financing allocated for this measure – EUR 19.66 million.

Strengthening of competitiveness

The aim is to improve the competitiveness of entrepreneurship in all the sectors of agriculture and to strengthen farm viability. The financing available is – EUR 584.31 million or 38.16% of the total RDP financing.

Investments in physical assets – the aim of the measure is supporting investments linked to farm restructuring – development of an effective production and diversification of sectors. Thus, the production efficiency will be increased and the risks associated with a negative impact of market fluctuations will be reduced. The financing allocated is EUR 328.76 million.

Development of processing, including, transition of home-workers into registered/approved home-workers – the aim of the measure is supporting investments in technologies and production facilities in food production enterprises. The financing allocated is EUR 75.59 million.

Improvement of the public infrastructure function, regulating water regime – the financing allocated is EUR 35.57, 57 million.

Reconstruction/renovation of amelioration systems – supporting reconstruction and renovation of amelioration systems on agricultural and forest land, construction of sites at production objects and railway access lines, reconstruction and renovation. The financing allocated is EUR 49.23 million.
Start-up and development of business – the financing allocated is EUR 46.53 million.

Development of small farms – the aim of the sub-measure is compensation of small farms for expenses, incurred when acquiring capital assets linked to the start-up of business, restructuring of the farms, the development of an effective and efficient production and ensuring market participation, amongst others, also involvement in the cooperation. Thus, it will facilitate transition of the major part of small farms, which have received the support, into the group of medium farms, becoming competitive producing goods for market. The financing allocated is EUR 34.75 million.

Support for young farmers – implementation of the measure will facilitate involvement of young people in permanent agricultural operations, and this will ensure establishment of economically viable farms and renewal of workforce in agriculture. The financing allocated is EUR 13.90 million.

Cooperation and risk management

The aim is facilitating organization of the food chain and risk management in agriculture; the financing available is EUR 23.34 million or 1.51% of the total RDP financing.

Producer groups – the financing allocated is EUR 2.78 million.

Restoring  forestry production  potential and introduction of appropriate prevention measures – the financing allocated is EUR 5.56 million.

Risk management - the financing allocated is EUR 15 million.

Restoring, conservation and facilitating of ecosystems as well as an effective use of nature resources

The aim is to facilitate restoration of ecosystems linked to agriculture and forestry as well as the effective use of resources by supporting economy resilient to climate changes, with a low CO2 emission level in agriculture, forestry and food industry; the financing available is EUR 586.39 million that makes 37.94% of the total RDP financing.

Payments to farms facing natural or other specific constraints - the financing available is EUR 267.50

Agri-environment payments - the financing available is EUR 101.63 million

Organic agriculture - the financing available is EUR 151.90 million

NATURA 2000 payments - the financing available is EUR 34.05 million

Support for investments improving the resilience and environmental value of forest ecosystems - the financing available is EUR 31.30 million.

Development of rural territories

The aim is to facilitate the development of local roads in territories of local governments as well as improvement of quality of services and their availability for rural population (the financing available is EUR 126.64 million or 8.19% of the total RDP financing) as well as enhancing initiatives, knowledge and skills  of rural population, using LEADER approach (the financing available is EUR 79.01 million or 5.11% of the total RDP financing, and it has almost doubled, as compared with preceding period).

Under the measure, Basic services in rural areas, the support will be granted only in one activity, t.i. for construction and reconstruction of community roads only in rural territory of a region. Activities implemented under the measure can be supplemented by activities of CLLD LEADER approach to ensure that territories adjacent to roads are also improved – the financing available EUR 126.64 million.

Support by LEADER approach for local development – the aim of the measure is facilitating the local development in rural territories, strengthening local economy, diversification of businesses, a maximum and productive use of local resources, improvement of the territory, making the rural living environment more friendly and attractive for inhabitants, encouraging involvement of low-income population in diversification and improvement of the local social life; the financing allocated is EUR 79.01 million.

The measure has been divided into sub-measures.

Implementation of activities according to the Community-led local development (CLLD) strategy – the aim of the sub-measure is to strengthen the local economy and diversification of

- entrepreneurship. This can be achieved by arousing interest in people to get engaged in business activities, home-working and crafts, supporting the cooperation in development of short supply

- chains, developing rural tourism, also offering opportunities to acquire additional knowledge and skills, acquiring production and processing techniques as well as marketing skills, in the result,

- allowing rural population to take care of themselves, their families and the development of their territory.

Interterritorial and interstate cooperation – the aim of the sub-measure is facilitating a qualitative sharing of experience among local action groups (LAG) and local population in order to find solutions at the national (interterritorial) and international (interstate) level, as well as to facilitate introduction of new and innovative cooperation ideas in rural territories thus, generating the added value in the territories involved in the cooperation.

Ensuring LAG activity, animation of the territory – the aim of the support is facilitating an effective operation of LAGs in drawing up, implementation, monitoring and updating of  CLLD strategy thus, ensuring continuity of the development process in local territory at the national and international level. This can be achieved by sharing experience of the local community and a full-fledged participation in implementation of CLLD strategy, ensuring the necessary information, knowledge and other resources.