site.btaTruffle Hunters Demand Better Regulation in Sector

Truffle Hunters Demand Better Regulation in Sector
Truffle Hunters Demand Better Regulation in Sector
Meeting of truffle hunters at the BTA National Press Club in Veliko Tarnovo, North Central Bulgaria, Feb. 29, 2024 (BTA Photo)

Hunters, processors and traders of truffles and wild mushrooms are pushing for a regulation to allow harvesting of non-timber forest products in the new season. Representatives of six national organisations from the sector outlined their requests related to legislative changes at the BTA National Press Club in Veliko Tarnovo on Thursday.

According to Svetlozar Siderov, Chairperson of the National Truffle Hunters Federation, the main problems in the industry stem from the lack of regulations and the unsuitability of the Forestry Act to the practical work of nearly 100,000 people engaged in the sector. One of the main aspects is the so-called mandatory harvest planning in forest hunting farms. Siderov said that there is a mandatory ten-year planning for the production of wild mushrooms, including truffles, which is not applicable in real conditions. "Experts themselves admit that there is no scientific method for such planning. However, if there is no planned harvest we have no right to carry out economic activity," Siderov pointed out. 

After talks at the end of 2023 with Finance Minister Assen Vassilev about changes in the methodology of taxation on those working in the sector, it was decided that there should be only one permit for monthly mining of all state and municipal forests in Bulgaria. Siderov said that if the Ministry of Agriculture and Food does not issue an order to implement this decision, the industry will remain blocked, because not a single branch of the sector will be able to work regulated.

According to Julian Kolev, representative of the Forest Mushrooms Association, the problems must be solved urgently, as it is expected that there will be good deposits in the forests in March. Bulgaria is one of the leaders in the export of wild summer truffle, said the represantatives. In good years, the annual yield amounts to 440 tons of truffles and nearly 1,000 tons of wild mushrooms. For most people in the country, the gathering of truffles and wild mushrooms is a basic livelihood, especially in areas with high unemployment.

/VE, DS/

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By 22:01 on 24.04.2024 Today`s news

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