The minister of Agriculture and Food Dr. Miroslav Naydenov has proposed four measures to support Bulgarian farmers after the rise of raw production. This was announced after the meeting with the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov with representatives of the livestock sector, milk and meat - processors and representatives of large retail chains. The first measure is the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to ask Brussels that the payment of subsidies per head livestock be made after October 15th, which is two months earlier than planned. The second measure will be that in the month of January 2013 farmers are to receive 27 million leva additionally in order that the ceiling of support be reached. The third measure is that the State Fund "Agriculture" reschedules the ‘target loans’ to farmers. The fourth measure is related to strengthening the control that the Bulgarian Agency for Food Safety (BABH) carries out for the dairy sector and the import of dairy products.
According to Minister Naydenov the government is giving record subsidies to farmers, however the situation in the sector is not improving, and the prices for consumer are not falling either. This year the subsidy for Bulgarian farmers will reach 200 million leva, he said. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov declared that he has made arrangements with the National Revenue Agency (NRA) that the National Security Agency works accordingly for the financial flows, the payment of taxes and the calculation of how much of the production is in the grey sector. They will be checking in the coming two weeks the cash flow streams for the production and sale of the dairy and meat products.
Farmers are surely scoring losses, which is similar to the situation of Bulgarian manufacturers, the minister said. In his words - representatives of major retailers also said they were working at a loss. The production of basic foodstuffs such as dairy and meat are also subject to national security, the Minister explained. If we do not have our own production and we assuming an upheaval comes, such as for example a major illness, which shall lead to closing borders for trade, what shall we do then asked the minister.
The meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov also attended the representatives of farmers, dairies, meat processors and large retail chains. The Minister posed the question why the production of farmers is very low, which puts them in a very difficult position, while storage processors are clogged with production and also prices for consumers in retail chains do not become lower. It is a fact that the chain is distorted and this situation can not continue the minister said.
Cash is being put as subsidies, the purchase price is reduced, but we as consumers still pay the same price. Thus money firstly goes out of the pockets of all of us as taxpayers so as to aid farmers, while at the same time we pay the same prices and sometimes even higher for the same dairy and meat products, the Minister explained. Naidenov said that the money being put into the livestock sector should lead to its stabilisation.
All participants at the meeting declared that they are at a loss currently. According to the minister - it is clear that those who are really at a loss are the Bulgarian breeders. The president of the National Union of Cattle Farmers Panaiot Todorov explained that animals in cattle farms have decreased from 360,000 to 250,000. Their decrease is related to national security, he stressed. The president of the Association of Meat Processors Kiril Vatev commented that retailers push the processors for lower prices who in turn press the farmers. Retailers in Bulgaria are in a fierce competition and constantly grow their retail sites which means they can not be operating at a loss, he said. While at the same time the farmers and processors are really bankrupt.
The president of the Association for Advanced Trading Dimitar Spasov, who is a representative of a large retailer explained that the stores do not push anyone. The chains only carry out trade negotiations, he said. Spasov stressed that he welcomes the upcoming inspections.