“Agriculture is a cause for Bulgaria and proof of this is that 800 ,000 people work in the agricultural sector, which is 25% of the working population”, stated Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Dimitar Grekov during the National Forum Government-Business, organized at the initiative of Prime Minister Oresharski.
“ The leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food draws on the traditions that we have in agriculture in everything it does, but at the same time we are aware that we cannot develop without innovation”, Minister Grekov said. He outlined the main priorities of the Ministry: investments and development of farms, with priority given to young farmers, production and processing of animal products, fruits and vegetables, industrial crops and essential oils.
During the next programming period 2014-2020 the main focus would be on small and family farms. For this purpose the Rural Development Program would include a subprogram, targeting small farms, which would ensure that they do not compete for funds with major farms.
“Our other goal is to shorten the producer to consumer chain, which will enable more farmers to offer products directly to the market”, Minister Grekov added.
Agriculture Minister also said that the Ministry would focus on improving irrigation systems in the country, since it was not possible to develop irrigated agriculture without adequate provision of water resources. Important changes concerning the deadlines for subsidy payments to farmers were also planned. The aim was to provide them with the necessary resources at the right time to enable them to buy feed, fertilizers and seeds.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food fully supports the idea of PM Oresharski that it is necessary to ease the administrative burden and move towards a wider share of e-services”, Minister Dimitar Grekov concluded.