36 Bulgarian Micro Businesses Get Money from EU Rural Devt Program

Bulgaria in EU | June 1, 2010, Tuesday // 18:15|  views

Kalina Ilieva, head of Bulgaria's State Agriculture Funds (right), handed Tuesday the first 36 funding contracts under Measure 312 of the EU Rural Development Program. Photo by BGNES

The first 36 contracts under the measure for creation and development of micro businesses of the EU Rural Development Program have been singed in Bulgaria.

Thus, a total of BGN 11 M from the program will fund the development of local tourism projects, small-scale photovoltaic and renewable energy plants, and factories for the precessing of timber and metal products, announced Bulgaria’s State Agriculture Fund which administers the funds.

A total of 27 of the contracts signed Tuesday are for the development of rural tourism firms. They are funded with a total of BGN 8 M.

The seven projects for the establishment of photovoltaic parks with a capacity of up to 1 MW will be funded with BGN 2.5 M.

Almost half a million is the combined subsidy for the other two projects – news plants for timber and metal products.

“Measure 312: Support for the creation and development of micro enterprises“ is one of the most attractive options for investments provided by the Rural Development Program. It funds various projects – from the purchase of transport equipment to the setting up of rehabilitation centers and industrial plants, all the way to renewable energy projects,” explained Kalina Ilieva, Director of the Bulgarian State Agriculture Fund.

She has pointed out that “Measure 311: Diversification to non-agricultural activities” is also suitable for small businesses in the rural regions but that only agricultural producers can apply to receive money from it.

Starting in 2010, the total amount of the subsidy provided by the EU Rural Development Program under the two measures will be up to 80% of the total investment envisaged for each project. The acceptance of new projects is starting on June 14.

A total of 844 projects have applied for a total funding of EUR 204 M under the two measures of the program. Of those, 224 are for renewable energy, especially photovoltaic parks, and the total subsidy sought by them amounts to BGN 84 M.

The State Agriculture Fund is planning to process all of the submitted applications within the next month. It has pointed out that Measures 311 and 312 are the one that the new management of the Fund found to be among the most problematic in terms of irregularities in their application.

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Tags: Kalina Ilieva, State Agriculture Fund, Measure 312, rural development, Rural Development Program, micro businesses, rural regions, photovoltaic, rural tourism


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