The successful applicants to the Pro Economica Foundation’s so-called “de minimis“ agronomic program received their funding by April 11, the day of Good Friday for Western Christianity, the foundation announced in a communiqué. The total amount of subsidies provided equals around EUR 53.5 million.
The counties targeted by the program – sponsored by the Hungarian government – were Szeklerland’s Kovászna (Covasna), Hargita (Harghita) and Maros (Mureş). In total, 5,293 applications were sent in, 4,765 funding contracts signed and 4,661 payment requests honored, stated the Pro Economica Foundation. As their communiqué relates, 1,065 applicants received funding in Kovászna (about EUR 13.5 million) and 1,972 payments were made to Hargita applicants (EUR 21.9 million), while 1,624 successful candidates (EUR 18.1 million) were financed in Maros County.
In Kovászna County, the five localities where most of the grants went were: Kézdiszentlélek/Sânzieni (65), Kézdivásárhely/Târgu Secuiesc (61), Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe (59), Torja/Turia (53) and Nyújtód/Lunga (42).
In Hargita County, the top localities in this regard were: Gyergyóremete/Remetea (119), Gyimesközéploc/Lunca de Jos (86), Csíkszereda /Miercurea-Ciuc (72), Gyergyóditró/Ditrău (69) and Gyergyóalfalu/Joseni and Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc (both with 61 grants paid). Last but not least, in Maros County the ranking is: Marosvásárhely (124), Mezőbánd/Band (79), Nyárádszereda/Miercurea Nirajului (60), Marossárpatak/Glodeni (55), Mezőpanit/Pănet (54).
The sponsorship can be used for purchasing agricultural machinery and equipment, farms and farm animals. Szekler agronomists and agricultural entrepreneurs prefer to buy mostly tractors, trailers, seeders, straw cutters and straw balers.
After the conclusion of the program, Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by the acronym RMDSZ) underlined: The payments, financed by the Hungarian government have reached agricultural entrepreneurs in a timely fashion. “Farmers are very much aware that it is hugely important to carry out agricultural activities as planned even during the pandemic. What I ask of them is to take care of themselves and of each other. I am convinced that these funds will serve them well,” emphasized the politician.
The managing director of the Pro Economica Foundation, Mónika Kozma, stated: RMDSZ has been reiterating for years the importance of a well-functioning agriculture and food industry as well as the local manufacturing and processing industries. “Such critical periods truly demonstrate how vulnerable a country can become if there is no local production and food supplies are expected from other states,” she noted. The Foundation is working on a project that aims to harmonize demands and offers with the help of an online platform.
RMDSZ has developed a strategy called the Kós Károly Plan for economic development with region-specific priorities. They have envisioned a common objective with the government of Hungary: the initiation of a pilot program, consisting of a sponsorship for Transylvanian economic development. The main concept is that grants ought to be provided in accordance with region-specific economic needs. The Pro Economica Foundation was created to operate this funding system and to enact future programs. The organization’s main objectives are: to enhance the living standards of Romanian families via the development of economic, social, cultural and religious conditions and to provide financial and moral support to families who fit the tenders’ criteria determined by the Foundation.
Title image: It is of utmost importance that farming and production continues even during the pandemic