site.btaDeputy Agriculture Minister Dzhikov: Bulgaria Should Draw Experience from Spain in Cooperating Agricultural Producers
Bulgaria should draw experience from Spain and the two countries should start working together in the field of producer associations and cooperatives, Deputy Agriculture Minister Todor Dzhikov said during a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Fernando Miranda Sotillos on Thursday. The Bulgarian deputy minister is on a visit to Madrid at the invitation of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Dzhikov stressed that the advantages of cooperatives are significant, given their ability to concentrate larger volumes of production and provide better conditions for its realization. The two officials discussed the numerous advantages for farmers belonging to cooperatives, as well as access to modern technological equipment, training, exchange of experience, and the possibility to plan production according to market needs. Dzhikov noted that the agricultural sector is of key importance for both countries. "The series of crises in the last three years shows the need for producers to come together to make agriculture more resilient to market shocks," he said.
Sotillos presented to the Bulgarian delegation the structure, organization and activities of Spain's cooperatives, the number of which currently exceeds 3,600. Their turnover in the previous year alone had reached EUR 36 billion, providing market positions and sustainable incomes to their members who could not achieve such results on their own.
During his working visit, Dzhikov also met with representatives of Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias de España, the organization in Spain that represents cooperatives in agriculture and food to national and European organizations, institutions and associations. Its mission is to promote the Spanish cooperative movement, to promote the cooperative business model and to contribute to improving the profitability of cooperatives and their sustainable development. The organization's aim is to achieve the best possible conditions for the development of the business activities of cooperatives, as they are the ideal formula for improving the income of associated producers. During the talks, the Bulgarian delegation got acquainted with the history of the organization and the management model, borrowing ideas that can be successfully applied in the Bulgarian agricultural sector to support the process of cooperating domestic producers, which will contribute to their more sustainable and economically viable development.
Dzhikov also visited Mercamadrid - Europe's largest trade, marketing and logistics exchange for fish and other fresh foods.