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Overall loss to Latvian farmers from floods nearly 100 million euros

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Staff Writer | February 19, 2018
Taking into account also the unreaped harvest due to the floods last year, overall loss to Latvian farmers is estimated at nearly EUR 100 million, said Agriculture Ministry’s representative Biruta Ingilavicute at the Saeima European affairs committee meeting, cites LETA.
Latvia flood
Europe   The Rural Support Service had conducted repeated checks
The ministry’s representative said this, answering the committee chairwoman Lolita Cigane’s (For!/Unity) question whether the compensation worth EUR 15 million paid to farmers by Latvia is adequate, considering that the same amount has been allocated by the European Commission to all three Baltic states together.

Ingilavicute said that the European Commission’s decision refers to compensation for the lost winter crops, while Latvia decided to compensate also for other types of harvest and hay.

In total EUR 20.5 million was calculated in loss, while just EUR 14.8 million were paid out in compensations. These calculations did not include unreaped harvest.

The committee also discussed cases when some farmers were required to repay compensations. Rural Support Service director Anna Vitola-Helviga explained that not all farmers were fully aware of all the procedures and accounts, therefore not in all cases there has been fraud.

As reported, the Latvian government has approved a EUR 14.87 million allocation from the contingency funds to compensate farmers for flood damage caused by heavy rains in August-October 2017, and the European Commission has granted EUR 3.46 million in extraordinary aid to Latvian farmers, who could not harvest summer crops and sow winter crops because the fields were flooded.

Later, the Latvian Rural Support Service has told four farms to repay a total of EUR 37,300 in wrongfully allocated flood compensations.

The Rural Support Service had conducted repeated checks to make sure that all the compensations have been allocated properly to the farmers whose lands and crops suffered in the heavy rainfalls and floods.

The inspections revealed that crops had still been harvested on four of these farms which made them ineligible for the compensations.