A grant for a novice farmer is money transferred from the budget by the decision of the competition committee to the head of the farm for the development of the farm.
The grant is provided on a non-refundable basis, however, there are obligations both for the use (development) of the grant and for the conduct of production (economic) activities.
Beginner Farmer Grant
A novice farmer is a peasant (farm) farm, the head of which is a citizen of Russia, registered in the rural territory of the region, the duration of which does not exceed 24 months from the date of its registration.
The size of the grant for a beginner farmer depends on the direction of the farm.
The head of the farm can be provided with a grant of up to 5 million rubles if the farm specializes in breeding cattle for beef or dairy production.
For other types of agricultural activities, the size of the grant cannot exceed 3 million rubles.
Until 2019, grants for budding farmers were only available to active farms. But thanks to the national project "Small and Medium Enterprises and Support for Entrepreneurial Initiatives", it became possible to help the villagers who are just planning their first agricultural project. They can take part in a competition for future farmers and win a grant of up to 3-4 million rubles.
Competitions under the general name "Agrostartup" are organized by the regional ministries of agriculture. There are three main conditions for participation: to be ready to register a farm within 15 days after the victory, invest at least 10% of your own funds in the project and create at least one job.
The grant within 18 months can be spent on solving the main tasks associated with starting a business: buying land, agricultural machinery, equipment, animals, seeds, building a farm, warehouse, road, water supply or other communications.
20-year-old Ivan Parkaev from the village of Aleksandrovka, Ulyanovsk Region, purchased two new Belarus tractors, a seeder, a sprayer for a grant and hired three tractor drivers - young fellow villagers who decided to return from the city. “In crop production, a machine operator now has a higher salary than an ordinary worker at a plant,” says Ivan. "And since I have new equipment, it was not difficult to find those willing to change to it." The first sowing, according to Parkayev, went well, without disrupting the deadlines and exceeding the original plan. Wheat and barley have been sown on 198 hectares instead of 60. A good supply of machinery made it possible to rent additional land shares.
In total, Ivan Parkaev received 4 million rubles as a grant. But he donated part of the money to the fund of the Aleksandrovsk cooperative "Invest-Povolzhye", which he joined following the example of his older brothers, also farmers. This is another of the conditions of the Agrostartup competition: the winner receives the maximum possible amount if he plans to join one of the agricultural cooperatives and make a contribution to it. “It's easier to work together,” Ivan is sure. “And it’s easier to sell crops through a cooperative, and there’s always someone to ask for advice.”
The advice of the older brothers helped to win the "Agrostartup". In previous years, Alexander and Maxim Parkaevs also received grants from the state under the "Beginner Farmer" program. Their experience helped Ivan prepare for the competition and beat other applicants. “I had the tender documents almost in perfect order, and the desire to work was very great. And I convinced the regional Ministry of Agriculture that I would be able to effectively dispose of the money received, ”Ivan recalls.
In 2019, future Ulyanovsk farmers submitted 96 applications to the Agrostartup competition, and the regional commission identified 22 winners, giving them grants worth 75.3 million rubles.
The chances of getting a grant also increase if the applicant submits a business plan in the agricultural sector, the development of which is given priority in the region. In Tatarstan, such industries include fish farming, salmon and sturgeon breeding. Jeyhun Namazov and his son Ruslan Efremov first gained experience in the wholesale trade in fish, and then decided to enter the promising agro-industrial market. “We knew that the demand for salmon fish is stable, especially for trout, but we need to choose the right place of production,” says Ruslan. “We were counting primarily on ourselves, but we also hoped for the support of the state.”
Water with a composition suitable for trout was found in the Leninogorsk region of Tatarstan. Farmers have built pools, cages and a hatchery here, where fry hatch from eggs. They carried out their project with the help of the “Agrostartup” grant program implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tatarstan within the framework of the national project “Small and Medium Enterprises and Support of Entrepreneurial Initiatives”. In 2020, Namazov and Efremov plan to sell about 15-18 tons of marketable fish, and eventually start selling fish seed and build a workshop for the production of semi-finished products.
In 2020, some regions have already determined the winners of the Agrostartup competition. For example, in Karachay-Cherkessia, 59 novice farmers received grants. Here the priority was given to sheep breeding, gardening and horticulture, agricultural processing. Until the end of 2024, within the framework of a regional project aimed at supporting farming and rural cooperation, it is planned to involve at least 2,000 people in agricultural entrepreneurship in the KCR, including through state support.