site.btaAgriculture Minister: Imports from Ukraine Alone Will Not Solve Problem with Price of Products
The farmers' protest was provoked by a heightened sensitivity due to problems accumulated over decades, Minister of Agriculture and Food Kiril Vatev explained in an interview with Nova TV.
Imports from Ukraine alone will not solve the problem with the price of products, he noted. A check of milk and dairy products shows that the largest share of the added value of the products remains in the trader at the end - up to 70%. This is also the case with all other commodities, he said.
“I hope Ukraine understands very well how important it is to have a good dialogue and not to have tensions between us,” he added. Until the end of November, there will be no imports of sunflower from Ukraine, the minister said.
"We have a problem with milk powder from Ukraine, however the biggest import of milk powder comes from Germany, and we cannot stop it. We have the most imports of honey and bee products mostly from Poland, which are most likely Ukrainian, and from Greece, which are most likely Chinese. With this open market, Ukrainian goods can always get into a European country and enter our country as deliveries from the EU," Kiril Vatev explained.
According to him, Bulgarian agriculture is not market-oriented enough. “Every Bulgarian producer is struggling on their own, and we are competing with extremely powerful cooperatives, with powerful agrarian chambers,” the minister said.
Bulgaria lacks a law on trade in agricultural products, there is no law on cooperatives, he said, adding that these are measures that need to be taken to develop the sector.
"One legitimate reason for the farmers' claims is that Ukraine is not part of the European Union and does not work according to European rules, which really make our production more expensive. Our farmers see this as unfair competition, and to some extent it is," the Agriculture Minister commented.
According to him, there is no problem with the quality of products from Ukraine because there are strict controls, especially after the outbreak of the war.