The recovery funds of Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Maaseutu.fi/elpymisrahoitus, the Sun and people

Projects that improve the digitalisation, climate and environmental measures of businesses can apply for the recovery funds of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Farms can apply for recovery funds for investment that promote the working environment, production hygiene, animal welfare or the state of the environment.

The application period for funding is relatively short, which means that they are looking for projects that are ready for implementation and either already contain the required documents (permits) or that they can be quickly acquired.

Projects funded from the recovery funds have their own selection criteria, and the projects are selected to meet the targets set for the recovery funds. The applications are submitted to the regional ELY Centre through the Hyrrä system. Projects are selected with particular attention on how ready the project is for implementation and on the applicant’s ability to start the implementation as soon as possible after the selection. The granted recovery funds must be used during the three years following the year of the commitment.

Funding applications are already open for farm investment and the rural innovation groups, i.e. the EIP groups. The application period for companies has started on 18.10.2021.

Micro and small enterprises in rural areas and businesses related to farms

Support can be applied for investment related to increasing digitalisation and introducing and increasing renewable energy. Investment targets can be solar panels, air source heat pumps, constructing bio-plants, producing renewable energy for the company’s own use, improving energy and material efficiency or reducing waste, or renovating plants that produce renewable energy. Support can be applied for introducing a new more efficient or energy-saving technique or method, or other such that fulfils the BAT requirements (Best Available Technology).

Micro and small enterprises in rural areas, businesses related to farms as well as micro and small enterprises processing agricultural and food products (including businesses related to farms) may apply for the aid. The aid is not granted to businesses in urban areas or for the purchase of used machinery and equipment.

The support percentage for food processing companies’ projects is 35%, and the maximum amount of aid is 200,000 euros (Annex I products). The project support level for other companies is 30% and under the de minimis terms. Less than 2000 euros will not be spported.

 Changes in ownership of micro and small enterprises in rural areas

Recovery funds also support the ownership changes of micro and small enterprises in sparsely populated and core rural areas (definition of SYKE). Aid can be applied for the acquisition of guidance, advice and expert services related to the preparation of change of ownership. The amount of aid is 5000-10,000 euros.

Recovery funds for farms

Farms can apply for recovery funds for investment that promote the working environment, production hygiene, animal welfare or the state of the environment. These investment targets may include, for example, improving the ventilation of production facilities, covering manure houses, mash carts and the introduction of renewable energy, such as the purchase of solar panels, the construction of a chipping centre, or the construction of a biogas production plant.

The support level for investment on new plants or production units that produce biogas is 50%. Total eligible costs are up to 2 million euros. The maximum size of the plant’s total output may not exceed 2 MW. Otherwise, support percentages and terms will remain unchanged for farms.

Rural innovation groups

The application round for the rural innovation groups, i.e. the EIP groups (European Innovation Partnership), is from 7 September to 29 October 2021. EIP projects are required to either promote the introduction of digital solutions or the transition to green economy or to improve the adaptability and stress tolerance of primary production in changing circumstances. Read more on this topic. 

Additional information

Read more about recovery funds: Rural.fi site (link)

Business specialists at the Uusimaa ELY Centre

  • Siina Viskari, siina.viskari(at)ely-keskus.fi, +358 295 021 178
  • Tony Lassas, tony.lassas(at)ely-keskus.fi, +58 295 021 091
  • Juha-Pekka Nikkola, juha-pekka.nikkola(at)ely-keskus.fi, +358 295 021 115

Project specialists at the Uusimaa ELY Centre

  • Juha Mäkinen, juha-k.makinen(at)ely-keskus.fi, +358 295 021 110 (broadband projects)
  • Maria Konsin-Palva, maria.konsin-palva(at)ely-keskus.fi, +358 295 021 081
  • Miia Koivunen, miia.koivunen(at)ely-keskus.fi, +358 295021180