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Estonia agricultural and forestry policy update (Inglês)

This note covers agricultural policy developments in Estonia since the Estonia Food and Agriculture Sector Review (report no. 13316), briefly assessing sector performance in 1995-96. The agricultural and forestry policy perspectives, and the sector in general, are analyzed in a broader rural development framework. It includes proposals for further action, such as: (1) maintaining an open market-oriented agriculture sector by continuing commitment to liberalized prices and markets, and becoming a trading center for the Baltic states; (2) accelerating land reform and coordinating activities like cadastre registration and restitution, introducing financial incentives, developing a framework for a functioning land market, disposing of state land, upgrading the farm drainage infrastructure, allowing for more foreign participation, and removing controls on land rents; (3) becoming internationally competitive in agroprocessing, and increasing efficiency in agricultural service delivery, removing preferences and opening up to foreign capital investments, establishing farmers' machine cooperatives, and upgrading agro-processing to European Union (EU) standards; (4) setting up sustainable rural financial services training financial services staff and farmers, supporting private banking, phasing out interest rate subsidies for rural lending, and developing a rural guarantee fund; and (5) establishing a strategic framework to assist the rural sector by accelerating private sector driven technological changes, setting up a research funding system and demand-driven agricultural education, focusing on rural poverty and regional development, improving and developing advisory services, and monitoring food quality to meet EU standards.

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