Bratislava, November 21 (TASR) – The so-called Green Diesel project will make Slovak farmers more competitive, stated Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (Slovak National Party/SNS) at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that the total amount of money earmarked for the project will reach €30 million.
Matecna added that the ministry is set to launch calls for proposals in the first half of 2019 and that farmers should receive the money in the third quarter of next year.
“With the Green Diesel project we’ll support primary producers in Slovakia, reduce exports of key commodities, and thus reduce the foreign trade deficit. We’ll make our food producers more competitive, and we also expect domestic food to enjoy more space on supermarket shelves,” said Matecna, adding that the project will further positively influence other areas linked to agriculture, such as soil fertility, water retention, a good climate, the mitigation of drought and soil erosion.
“Agriculture is a sector with a large multiplying effect that further influences other sectors, such as chemical engineering, the food industry, commerce and services. So, the money put into the Green Diesel project will return to Slovakia in multiple ways,” added the agriculture minister.
According to Matecna, the project won’t involve an automatic nationwide subsidy, but aid for agricultural sectors that are demanding in terms of cultivation, such as specialised crop production and special livestock production. [The Green Diesel project involves a system via which domestic farmers would be able to claim partial diesel tax refunds. – ed. note]