On January 26, the Government approved regulations that determine the compensation levels and conditions for subsidies disconnected from production and non-productive investments.
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In addition, the Government has approved the terms of compensation for natural disasters.
The set of agricultural farmer subsidies for the policy period 2023-2027 includes direct subsidies fully financed by the European Union, the purpose of which is to support the profitability of farms.
With redistributive income support added to the totality of direct subsidies as mandatory at the EU level, the distribution of subsidies is emphasized more on small and medium-sized farms.
The income support for young farmers complements subsidies specifically targeted at young farmers. Ecosystem support promotes climate and environmental protection goals.
Basic income support is the simplest form of income support based on eligible area. A total of approximately 292 million euros will be used for support in 2023.
The State Council confirmed the support levels for 2023 in the AB support area of Southern Finland at 138.56 euros per hectare and in the C support area in the north at 118.79 euros per hectare.
Support rights are no longer used, but support is paid based on the eligible hectares under the control of the applicant.
Redistributive income support is entitled to a sector that is eligible for support in the basic income. A maximum of 26 million euros will be used for income redistribution support.
The subsidy is a maximum of 17.68 euros per hectare, and it is paid per farm for a maximum of 50 hectares.
Income support for young farmers can be received by an applicant who is no more than 40 years old at the end of the year of submission of the first basic income support application and is in control of the farm.
Income support for young farmers can be received for a maximum of five years.
A new condition in the income support for young farmers is that the support applicant must meet the skill requirement on the same basis as in the start-up support for young farmers.
A sufficient professional requirement is a secondary degree in the field of natural resources or a certain amount of work experience and studies together.
The professional skill requirement must be met in the first year of applying for support by August 31 at the latest.
A maximum of around 13 million euros will be used to support young farmers. The support level is 88 euros per hectare, and support can be received for a maximum of 150 hectares, while previously support was paid based on a maximum of 90 hectares.
Ecosystem support is a new voluntary support whose aim is to support agricultural practices favorable to the climate and the environment.
There are four measures: winter plant cover, nature management lawns, green manure lawns and diversity plants. The lawn measures of the eco-system support are committed for a calendar year, but the conditions for the winter vegetation cover must be observed from 31 October to 15 April.
The grass-based ecosystem support measures have restrictions on plant species, plant protection and tillage. Ecosystem support for natural management lawns, green manure lawns and diversity plants is granted for a maximum of 25 percent of the support applicant's eligible area.
In support area C, ecosystem support for nature management lawns is granted to a maximum of 10 percent of the support applicant's eligible area.
A maximum of EUR 86 million will be used for ecosystem support in 2023.
The maximum support levels are as follows:
• winter plant cover €50/ha
• nature management lawns €65/ha
• green manure lawns €80/ha
• diversity plants €300/ha
Regarding all subsidies, it should be noted that the subsidy levels can still be specified before the subsidies are paid.
The refinements may be due, for example, to the area amounts declared in the applications differing from what was anticipated, and ultimately it is considered that the maximum allocation of the EU Agricultural Support Fund granted to Finland will not be exceeded.
The subsidy applicant must be an active farmer in order to receive the direct subsidies described above. The national register used to define an active farmer is the Company and Community Information System (YTJ).
In addition to the Y-code, it must be verifiable from the register that the applicant's main occupation is agriculture and that he is included in the VAT register as a primary producer. If the subsidy applicant does not meet the registration requirements, he must prove that he is engaged in agricultural activities with a separate report.
To meet the definition of an active farmer, a limit has been introduced that simplifies the system. Applicants who received a maximum of EUR 5,000 in direct subsidies in the previous year fulfill the condition of being an active farmer directly. ■