Rural Development Programme (RDP)
The 2ndPillar of the CAP provides for the support of agricultural development through multiannual, co-financed programmes, known as Rural Development Programmes (RDP).
The Greek 2014-2020 RDP was officially approved by the European Commission on 11 December 2015 and outlines Greece’s priorities regarding the valorisation of public funds in the amount of 5.93 billion Euros, which are available for the 2014-2020 period (4.7 billion Euros from the EU budget and 1.23 billion Euros from the national contribution).
The RDP describes Greece’s priorities for the utilisation of the available public funding through financial activities in the framework of the 6 goals of Rural Development:
- Knowledge transfer to and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas
- Competitiveness of agricultural sector and sustainable forestry
- Food chain organisation, including processing and marketing of agricultural products and risk management in agriculture
- Restoring, preserving and enhancing ecosystems related to agriculture and forestry
- Resource efficiency and climate
- Social inclusion and local development in rural areas
Our goal is to maximise the utilisation of RDP resources, in order to achieve a satisfactory level of organisation and modernisation of the primary sector, and support the dissemination of scientific knowledge and innovation.
At the same time, we support collective schemes and individual enterprises of the primary and broader agri-food sector in relation to the implementation of investment plans, with which they aim to upgrade their products and services.
From the commencement of the RDP and until August 2020, we provided consultation services for the submission of aid applications and for the implementation of approved proposals under the following RDP Measures:
- Measure 4: Investments in physical assets
- Measure 5: Natural disasters: restoring production potential and preventing damage
- Measure 6: Farm and business development
- Measure 9: Setting up of producer groups and organisations
- Measure 10: Agri-environment-climate
- Measure 11: Organic farming
- Measure 16: Cooperation
- Measure 19: Support for LEADER local development (CLLD)
Our activities in the framework of the RDP follow the six (6) axes below:
- Creation of a network of partners and bodies for the implementation of measures, firstly through the agronomists of the collaborating Farmers’ Service Centres (FSCs) across the country, and then with the involved institutional bodies, such as the Ministry of Rural Development and Food (MINAGRIC), the Greek Payment Authority for community aid (OPEKEPE), and the Managing Authority of the 2014-2020 RDP. Our ultimate goal is the two-way dissemination of information by institutional bodies to the FSCs to be utilised by producers, and from the FSCs to institutional bodies (e.g. through participation in consultations regarding RDP measures, etc.),
- Provision of continuous updates and documentation to our partners as regards the systematic monitoring and analysis of the current institutional framework, at European and national level, through the preparation of briefing notes, RDP implementation guides etc.
- Continuous training of agronomists and producers by organising regular seminars across the country,
- Continuous and substantial communication with and support of agronomists partnered with the FSCs in every way possible: through on-site training at our offices or at the FSCs local offices, through effective telephone support services, through a thorough examination of business plans for the identification of any omissions/errors, and by electronic means, through the special online forum GAIA Net or by e-mail.
- Development of digital tools aiming to maximise the effectiveness of the submitted proposals. To that end, applications have been developed for the calculation of credit points and proposal submissions, for the submission of aid applications, as well as networking tools, such as HELPDESK, which contribute to our partners receiving timely and valid information on a broad range of issues,
- Collaboration with a broad range of entities for the provision of integrated services to interested producers and entrepreneurs, such as certification bodies (TÜV AUSTRIA, HELLAS COSMOCERT, TÜV HELLAS), as well as external partners for cases where additional expertise is required.
Our involvement in the measures of the RDP is very popular among Greece’s agricultural community, which trusts us because of our top-level expertise, experience, validity, and efficiency. Through the suitable structures we have developed and the specialised tools that contribute to our partners receiving timely and reliable updates, we provide continuous support for the monitoring of investment plans, and support more than 4,000 producers and entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector, who have currently committed €115,095,675 from 2014-2020 RDP funds for the development and modernisation of their holdings and enterprises.