Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Assuages Harvest Fears over RainsBusiness | July 14, 2010, Wednesday // 15:23| views
Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Naydenov plans to inspect bread producers. Photo by BGNES
The constant rains in Northeastern Bulgaria over the past weeks will not affect the country’s grain production substantially, according to Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov.
“Despite the sporadic information about problems with the harvesting of the crops, the issues from last year have been overcome, and the harvest is going fine,” Naydenov said on Wednesday.
His statement comes just as agricultural producers warned that the incessant rains in the eastern part of the country in the last month are not only slowing down the harvesting but are also spoiling the quality of the wheat and barley.
The Agriculture Minister admitted that because of the rains the total amount of harvested crops might be about 500 000 tonnes smaller than the previously expected 4 million tons. Yet, since Bulgaria needs only 1.8 million tonnes for domestic consumption, it should still be able to export close to 2 million tonnes.
Speaking on Wednesday, Naydenov also criticized severely Bulgarian bread-makers for buying forage wheat instead of bread-wheat, and for adding chemical substances to it in order to produce bread.
He said the forage wheat is only BGN 0.05 cheaper than the bread wheat, and that people would be willing to pay a little more in order to get good quality bread.
The Minister warned that his institution is going to target bread production for inspections after it has been checking the dairy sector in the past weeks.