Italian regions are acting together to make the best use of European Union (EU) rural development funds, by setting up the Agriculture Italian Guarantee Multiregional Platform (AIGMP). Benefitting small and medium-sized enterprises in the production, processing and distribution of agricultural products, the AIGMP aims to generate an overall volume of investments of more than €1 billion. The framework agreement on the AIGMP between regional, national and European institutions will be signed tomorrow, 8 April 2017, in Verona (Italy) in the margins of the celebration of the 60 years of the Rome Treaties.
"This is a strongly encouraging initiative to introduce financial instruments in agriculture. I am extremely pleased with the excellent cooperation between regional, national and European institutions. It shows how we can do more for European farmers by attracting more private funding to the sector. Our farmers and agri-entrepreneurs need to have the same access to vital loan and investment possibilities as other dynamic sectors of the economy. This will help to build a competitive European agricultural and agri-food sector, which realises its full potential in terms of sustainable production, export growth and job creation" underlines Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, who will attend the ceremony. Other high-level guests will include Italian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Maurizio Martina, regional ministers, European Investment Bank vice-presidents and the European Investment Fund CEO.
Eight Italian regions - Piemonte, Toscana, Umbria, Campania, Puglia, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Calabria- will sign the framework agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Italian National Agricultural Fund (ISMEA) to set up the Agriculture Italian Guarantee Multiregional Platform (AIGMP). This will be the largest financial instrument for agriculture supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to date.
By facilitating access to finance and investing in small and medium sized enterprises in the production, processing and distribution of agricultural products, the AIGMP aims to generate an overall volume of investments of more than €1 billon. It is funded by the EAFRD and national contributions (more than €68 million), the EIF (€165 million), the EIB (€150 million) and Cassa Depositi Prestiti SpA (€150 million). In addition, ISMEA has the option to contribute with around €20 million.
The Italian regions are updating their rural development programmes, and more managing authorities in Italy are expected to join this process. The AIGMP could also inspire regions in other EU countries, where EAFRD support is implemented in a regionalised way, to join forces in a similar manner.
7 April 2017