Bulgarian Organic Farmers Seek More Money for Sustainable Agriculture

Business | August 23, 2012, Thursday // 15:07|  views

Photo by dariknews.bg

Bulgarian organic farmers have criticized the government for failing to comply with the framework for the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the period 2014-2020.

"The new CAP of the European Union envisages 30% of the payments to go to organic farming. The Bulgarian government, however, is against the idea. There can be no agriculture against the backdrop of disregard for the environment. You cannot only sow wheat and rapeseed, the crops should be rotated," said Albena Simeonova, Chair of the Foundation for Environment and Agriculture, at a press conference on Thursday.

Organic farmers insist on increased allocations for organic farming and for creating 'green' jobs.

"Every minute 10 hectares of land are lost to land exhaustion. This cannot happen with organic farming," argued Milen Stoyanov, Chair of the Bulgarian Organic Products Association, as cited by econ.bg

Bulgarian organic farmers also call for secure and stable prices which cover farmers' expenses, for curbing lower-priced exports than producer prices, for support for locally grown crops, for promoting sustainable agriculture, for developing rural areas and for assistance for family farmers.

"2-3% of Bulgarian farmers cultivate 85% of the land. This hurts the interests of small- and middle-scale producers," Simeonova noted.

"It is not large-scale farmers who are to blame, but the ones who give out hefty payments per area. The Rural Development Program should function in support of villages, not large-scale farmers living in cities," she emphasized.

Simeonova called on the government to back small and medium-sized agricultural holdings, thereby stopping the unbridled increases in land cultivated by large-scale industrial-scale farmers.

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Tags: organic farming, common agricultural policy, organic food, Bulgarian government, EU, CAP, sustainable


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