Sofia. Picture: AFP
Two sectors of Bulgarian agriculture are locked in a battle on who gets to absorb the bigger share of some EUR 700 million in EU funding for 2015-2020, Trud
daily reports. The money comes under the “coupled support” funding which is supposed to go towards vulnerable sectors. The former cabinet had promised to give an equal amount of the sum to cattle-breeders and to vegetable and fruit producers. However, it turns out that the final proposal, sent to the European Commission (EC), requests 67% of the funding to go towards cattle-breeders. This has caused an outcry amongst vegetable producers who went as far as writing a letter of protest addressed to European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos. Mariyana Miltenova from the Bulgarian National Horticultural Union (BNHU) describes the former government’s decision as illegitimate, adding that it was not coordinated with the sector. In its letter to Mr Ciolos, BNHU argues that producers of fruits, vegetables, and potatoes, should receive 69% of the coupled funding, since cattle-breeders have additional national support at their disposal. In a commentary, Trud daily argues criticises the greediness of agricultural producers and especially the flawed policy led by the agriculture ministry. The daily warns that the EC will hardly take the news light-heartedly and that the dispute will most probably result in the funding getting suspended.
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