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Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Wednesday that the current Government has understood the essential role of Agriculture and the importance of the development of the Romanian village and has supported this sector through all the levers available.

Premier Dancila participated in the "Farmers Forum - stocktaking and perspectives", an event held at Romexpo exhibition compound on the occasion of the National Day of Romanian Agri-Food Products.

"Agriculture plays a vital role for society, contributes substantially to economic growth and offers jobs for a quarter of Romania's active population. Your work ensures healthy food for Romanians and, at the same time, contributes to keeping the trade balance even. (... ) Since taking over the government, we have placed agriculture among our priorities and we have firmly supported this sector through all the available levers. We have granted subsidies in due time, so that you, the farmers, can benefit from the support you need to get the best possible results," the prime minister said.

According to Viorica Dancila, since the takeover of the government by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the farmers have received funds worth about 10.2 billion euros, of which 8.9 billion euros in European funding.

"Next week we will start paying the subsidy for coupled support. We are ready to pay farmers up to 1.4 billion euros by the end of November," added Dancila.

The prime minister also mentioned the programs for tomato growing, for rearing Bazna and Mangalita pig breeds, for sheep breeders, as well as the state aid scheme for beekeepers, as well as the rehabilitation of the irrigation and anti-hail systems. "We have developed and expanded the program by which the farmers benefit from the reduction of the excise duty on diesel, so that both the fisheries sector, and the research sector receive this support," said Viorica Dancila.

"We have provided and continue to provide state guarantees for farmers' loans, an important lever to support investments in the Romanian village. We have met producers, but also consumers half way by reducing VAT from 9 percent to 5 percent for high quality products. Thus, we encourage the production and marketing of traditional products, established recipe products and organic ones. We have provided for one billion euros to support the mountain area over the next 10 years, the specific legislation of this ambitious program having already been adopted," premier Dancila went on to say.

The prime minister conveyed her appreciation to the farmers for the fact that for the third consecutive year Romania has managed to have "one of the best agricultural productions in Europe".

At the same time, Viorica Dancila reminded that the Government has also started a process of revitalization of agricultural high schools, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is due to make investments in 58 high schools with agricultural profile.

"The remarkable results in the agricultural field have motivated us to take measures to reorganize the research sector in order to be properly funded. In less than 3 years, we have managed to contribute to the reorganization of 49 agricultural research stations and institutes," she further maintained. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Florea, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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