Higher living standards for farmers and fishermen, preservation of rural areas and their balanced development.
The mission of the Paying Agency is to connect Croatian farmers, fishermen and operators in rural areas with the institutions at national and European level which finance the development of agriculture, fisheries and rural areas through its programmes and funds.
Why does Croatia need the Paying Agency for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development (PAAFRD)?
Each European Union member state must have a Paying Agency in agriculture. The establishment of such an agency in Croatia was a precondition for closing the negotiation talks under Chapter 11 (Agriculture and Rural Development) with the European Union. This makes the Paying Agency for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development the only Croatian institution the establishment and existing of which is explicitly mentioned in the Agreement on Croatian Accession to the EU, as a condition for the Croatian membership. The structure, scope of work and operations/duties are defined by the European Union legislation applicable in all member states. In order to manage the allocation of approximately 6 billion HRK each year from the EU budget intended for agriculture and rural development in Croatia, the Paying Agency has to be accredited.
The accreditation was done according to specifically established criteria (EC Regulation 885/2006; Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 907/2014) that guarantee the establishment of minimal management and control system requirements and protection of EU agricultural funds. To get the accreditation, the Paying Agency had to build a complex IT support system (including the Integrated Administrative and Control System (IACS) that all EU member states use to collect, to process and to control direct payment to farmers.
Apart from IACS, the Paying Agency also keeps the Farmers Register, ARKOD – land parcel identification system, and other accompanying registers (e.g. vineyards register, register of the primary food producers, register of ecological producers). Other important operational data-bases in use include ISAP – centralised electronic database (for the simultaneous data entry from 25 PAAFRD’s locations in the Republic of Croatia) and AGRONET – the protected Internet application through which farmers can see data on their farms and electronically fill-in the application request for direct agricultural support once a year.
All these required systems were successfully established and as a result, in 2013 the Croatian Paying Agency received the Decision on Accreditation – initially for direct payments, then for CMO and finally for the EAFRD measures too. PAAFRD main task is implementation of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries Policy, as well as implementation of different national programmes and measures (e.g. in wine sector, apiculture, etc.).
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