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A new financial instrument to protect farmers in crisis needs to be introduced as part of the Strategic Plans. This stated the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Georgi Tahov at a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels.

Tahov pointed out that the crisis management framework should include both instruments contributing to increasing the stability and competitiveness of the agricultural sector, as well as rapidly applicable emergency measures when adverse market developments occur. He announced that Bulgaria supports the proposal of Croatia and Slovenia to create an intervention in the Strategic Plans under the Common Agricultural Policy, which provides the possibility of a mechanism for "ad hoc" financial support in case of crisis.

The common agricultural policy and the agricultural reserve need an adequate budget that provides security, protection, and fair support for farmers in crisis situations. It is also essential to work towards a levelling out of direct payments, the Minister stressed.

In recent years, several crises have greatly affected the production of agricultural products and farmers are experiencing more and more difficulties", commented Minister Tahov and pointed out that one of them is the implementation of projects on time. Bulgaria proposes the EC to extend by 12 months the deadline for project payments under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.

During the Council, the situation on the agricultural markets as a result of the war in Ukraine was also discussed. Minister Takhov drew attention to the fact that from the beginning of 2024 intensive import of fresh chicken eggs for consumption from Ukraine has been registered in Bulgaria. We are pushing for safeguard measures following the entry into force of the new Autonomous Trade Measures (ATM) Regulation, as this is causing serious concern among the sector representatives in the country.

"Increasing the sector's contribution to the green transition cannot be achieved by introducing new requirements and restrictions alone. Farmers should be provided with appropriate economic incentives to undertake environmental commitments, thereby reducing the risk of abandoning agricultural activities and depopulation of rural areas," added Minister Tahov.

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