Over 2,000 Jobs Saved Thanks to Financial Instruments for Rural Development

Total Croatia News

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Photo: Mario Romulić
Photo: Mario Romulić

fi-compass, the European Commission’s platform for advisory services on financial instruments, is preparing a brochure on a case study of the Croatian micro and small loan scheme as an example of good practice for other EU members to follow. This is the result of positive ratings by end-users and the successful use of funding from financial instruments of the Rural Development Programme which Croatian farmers used in 2019 more than farmers in any other EU member state, while in 2020 the primacy was taken over by Poland and Croatia was second, the ministry said.

The ministry said that the total amount of funding from the financial instruments had increased several times, from the initial HRK 536 million to HRK 782 million, with HRK 437 million disbursed to 1,216 end users by the end of October 2021.

“Thanks to the projects supported by the financial instruments, more than 54,000 animals have been purchased and more than 2,300 jobs have been opened or preserved,” the ministry said.

It noted that micro and small loans for rural development have been available under the Rural Development Programme since 2018, adding that 83 percent of their users are micro-businesses and 21 percent are young farmers. In order to contribute to generational renewal, the new program period 2023-2027 will make it possible for young farmers to buy land without any limits in the total value of the investment.

In December 2021, the ministry carried out a survey among 575 respondents, including some of the present end-users of financial instruments, and they rated the system of implementing financial instruments as very positive. The interest rate, which is 0.46 percent on average for all loans, was given the highest rating by 79 percent of users, while nearly a third of respondents said they had applied for a financial instrument and had their application granted in 92 percent of cases.

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