Direct payments

Lithuania has been implementing the single area payment scheme since 2004. It is a support scheme under which direct payments decoupled from production are paid for the utilised agricultural area.

During the period from 16 October till 30 November 2017, NPA paid to farmers EUR 214 million in direct advance payments, and as from 1 December, it started paying the remaining share of payments. By the end of the year, EUR 411 million in direct payments reached the accounts of applicants. Also, the payment of support according to area-related measures of Lithuanian Rural Development Programme and additional national direct payments was started in December.

The experience gained through the simplification of the process of administration of applications helped achieving these results. Some actions were already carried out back in 2016, when inadequacies of applications of the most risky groups of applicants were analysed and information systems were improved giving up inefficient administration of very minor inadequacies.

In 2017, works were successfully extended: the analysis of sanctions imposed on and the debts formed in previous years was carried out, proposals were presented to the Ministry of Agriculture regarding their prevention, reduction of the number and scope, control mechanisms (procedure of selection for inspections) were published on NPA website, recommendations for preparing for inspections were provided, presenting good and bad examples. Applicants who Compared to the amount of support having reached applicants by the end of 2014, during the same period of this year NPA will pay twice more. Support has been paid increasingly faster, while the paid support amounts have been increasing each year (“Ūkininko Patarėjas”, 23-12-2017) In order to ensure that support funds reach the actual farmers, the NPA has taken a number of measures to stop payments to “sofa” farmers. Risk groups of applicants, which receive more attention when selecting farms for inspections, were identified last year. However, distinguishing possible “sofa” farmers from other applicants as early as possible is important, thus the NPA planned identifying risk groups of applicants as early as at the time of application administration (“Valstietis”, 23-03-2017) 3 decided to keep contact with NPA electronically helped accelerate the administration process: such applicants accounted for 75% in 2017 compared to only 50% in 2016.

From 2023, Direct payments types are:

  • Basic direct payments - the basic income support for sustainability, paid to the beneficiary for the declared and eligible area;
  • Complementary redistributive income support for sustainability – is paid for 50 ha, but to a beneficiary declaring less than 500 ha;
  •  Complementary direct income support for young farmers – is paid for young farmers for 70 ha;
  • Coupled income support for:
    • protein crop producers;
    • fruit growers;
    • producers of fruit and nuts;
    • producers of arable vegetables;
    • producers of closed ground vegetables;
    • sugar beet growers;
    • seed potato producers;
    • dairy cows;
    • beef cattle farmers;
    • sheep farmers;
    • goat farmers;
  • Schemes for the climate, the environment and animal welfare:
    •  arable land – plant change;
    • arable land – Non-simultaneous conservation farming technologies;
    • arable land activities – catch crops;
    • activities on arable land – use of certified seed;
    • maintenance of landscape features;
    • strips of short – lived melliferous plants;
    • perennial grass strips;
    • nature-friendly orchard and berry management;
    • sustainable fruit, fruit and vegetables scheme (NCP);
    • replacement of arable peatland with grassland;
    • conversion of demonstrated land to grassland;
    • integrated grassland and wetland maintenance scheme;
    • extensive wetland management;
    • converting to organic farming;
    • animal welfare;
    • organic farming (fruit, berries, vegetables, herbs).

Rural development (2023-2027 year period):

  • Support for Natura 2000 forests;
  • Support for Natura 2000 on agricultural land;
  • Organic farming: continuig commitments on organic farming;
  • Forest maintenance and protection;
  • Preservation of endangered cattle and poultry of old Lithuanian breeds;
  • Conservation of wild birds outside a Natura 2000 site;
  • Areas with natural or other specific constraints

Rural development (2014-2020 year period) for continuing obligations.

Support without application – openness, transparency and partnership

The latest technologies are rapidly penetrating into various areas of life, including the agricultural sector. Improving satellite imagery resolution and developing information technologies open up new opportunities for improving the support administration process and implementing one of the key innovations - support for area-related measures for farmers to pay without them submitting applications therefor.

The concept of paying support to farmers without them submitting an application provides not only for waiving applications for support for area-related measures, but also the currently applicable control mechanisms and other unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. In order to make sure that farmers comply with requirements, to find out which crop species they raise and whether or not they comply with greening, organic farming and other assumed obligations, the agency’s specialists do not need to go for farm inspections. Having received satellite imagery, identified the field maintained by the farmer and checked the data available in registers, the agency would have the entire information about the farm managed by the farmer and could calculate and promptly pay support without imposing any sanctions.

Meanwhile, farmers should not worry about non-agricultural activities or bureaucratic procedures that distract from direct farm work. In addition, farmers could also avoid inspections that often are stressful. Only having observed a possible violation, inspectors would go to the site to check if eligibility requirements for support were truly violated. Having, in turn, given up its control function, the agency would become an equal partner to farmers providing the necessary information.

The concept of disbursing support, according to which farmers could be paid area-related measure support without submitting applications therefor, was introduced by representatives from Lithuania and Italy in the conference of directors of paying agencies of the European Union held in Malta in the spring of 2017. The legal basis of the concept was discussed at the meeting of the heads of paying agencies of the European Union the Learning Network held in Vilnius at the end of September, while its practical aspects were addressed in a joint project with the European Space Agency Sen4Cap and other international initiatives.

Here you can see a film about support without application.

Last updated: 10-11-2023