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Bulgarian livestock selection and breeding system must be developed in a way that leads to market success, Minister Kiril Vatev said, attending the international livestock exhibition in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

 During the forum, Vatev met with French Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Marc Fesneau, with whom they discussed the current challenges that farmers face due to agricultural imports from Ukraine. Minister Vatev noted that the Bulgarian government is making great efforts for Ukrainian goods to pass through Bulgaria easily, reaching the ports of Thessaloniki and Kavala. However, Bulgarian infrastructure is not built for such intensive traffic and for this reason Bulgaria will ask the EC for aid to strengthen it," Vatev added further.

The two ministers commented on climate change and floods. Minister Vatev pointed out that we should think about drainage infrastructure as a prevention in case of heavy rainfall, and Minister Marc Fesneau showed interest in this idea.

In connection with the exhibition, Minister Vatev commented that he sees many opportunities for joint work between Bulgaria and France in the field of animal husbandry. Both ministers agreed that two countries have common interests and  topics in the agricultural sector.

Vatev also met with exhibitors from France and other countries, discussing the exchange of experiences and future cooperation to increase productivity in dairy and beef cattle farming in Bulgaria.

Talking to reporters, Vatev stressed that the presence of Bulgarian breeders on the market depends on whether they are competitive and whether they manage to offer products with lower cost and higher quality. Such a task can only be fulfilled with higher productivity through better breedingq he concluded.

He added that the benefit of agricultural producers being united in cooperatives can be seen in practice at the exhibition.

"We need more communication about Bulgarian autochthonous breeds and the products they produce. In the high parts of the mountains, these breeds thrive perfectly, and their great advantage is in the quality of the meat and milk," said Minister Vatev.

Regarding education, he stated that it is imperative that the institutes of the Agricultural Academy and the educational production facilities of the agrarian universities attract leading expert breeders, agronomists, soil science specialists, veterinarians, zoo engineers, students and students from specialized schools. "This is how we will restore these scientific centers, build personnel and get production," explained the minister.

The Sommet de l'Elevage exhibition in Clermont-Ferrand is held for the 32nd time and its 2023 edition is focused on agroecological livestock farming. It is expected to be attended by some 105,000 visitors from 80 countries, who will be able to see 1,550 exhibitors and 2,000 head of livestock.

The sectors of dairy cattle breeding, beef cattle breeding, sheep breeding, goat breeding, horse breeding, technology, animal nutrition and veterinary materials are presented.

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