Minister of Agriculture and Food Kiril Vatev presented Bulgaria's problem with sunflower seed and powdered milk to the EU Council on Agriculture and Fisheries in Brussels. He informed about the expected good harvest in Bulgaria and the remaining 700,000 tonnes available from last year, due to the cheap import of sunflower seeds and unrefined oil. Minister Vatev pointed out that against this background, a significant growth of Ukrainian sunflower seed exports is expected, and that Bulgaria and its neighbouring countries are unable to handle the processing of significantly increased quantities.
The Minister also drew attention to the increased import of powdered milk, which is undercutting prices and putting Bulgarian livestock breeders at risk, along with the increase in feed prices, and informed also that he has requested additional state aid for the sector.
During the discussion on agricultural markets, he pointed out that we need to look strategically at the new situation in agricultural trade and improve corridors of solidarity.
Minister Vatev announced that this year marked the most expensive harvest in Europe, as well as a totally changed logistics scheme, as a result of the war in Ukraine, and the country's agricultural production must now be predicted when analysing the grain balance of Europe. In relation to the corridors of solidarity, he specified that actions are needed to facilitate transit. "We have a duty to protect our producers," he stressed.
Within the framework of the EU Council meeting, Kiril Vatev participated in a meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of Hungary, Romania, Poland and Slovakia, together with the European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski.