Farmers Will Block Main Roads In Bulgaria For Two Hours Today

Industry | February 6, 2024, Tuesday // 09:20|  views

Today, agricultural producers across Bulgaria are taking to the streets in protest against the government's proposed support measures, announced the Bulgarian Agrarian Chamber (BAC). Members of the National Association of Grain Producers (NAG), part of the BAC, have outlined plans to block junction roads nationwide for two hours, starting from 10 a.m. The protest action is set to escalate each day, excluding weekends, until their demands are met.

Major road arteries including approaches to the Danube River bridges in Ruse and Vidin, sections of the Trakia highway, and the main Sofia-Ruse road will be affected by the blockades. The farmers' discontent stems from the perceived inadequacy of the government's proposed support methodology, which they argue lacks economic expertise and fails to address the mounting losses experienced by farmers in recent years.

On Monday, representatives from over 20 agricultural organizations convened in front of the Ministry of Agriculture, demanding the resignation of Minister Kiril Vatev. The disagreement revolves around the government's assertion that grain production has been highly profitable in Bulgaria, citing profits of approximately 3 billion BGN declared by grain producers for 2022. Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov dismissed the protests, stating there is no basis for state support when farmers are profitable, attributing the timing of the protests to the impending cabinet rotation.

Additionally, farmers reject the government's offer of 150 million BGN to support various agricultural sectors, including fruit and vegetable production, greenhouse production, viticulture, and animal husbandry. They argue for a reassessment of support measures to compensate for losses due to the war in Ukraine, production costs, climate conditions, and Green Deal requirements.

Simeon Karakolev, a prominent figure in the Bulgarian Agrarian Chamber, has been vocal in the protest. As co-chairman of the National Sheep and Goat Breeding Association, Karakolev advocates for fair compensation and support for farmers affected by various economic and environmental factors. He was the initiator of the project to erect the 111-meter pylon in the Rozhen area in the Rhodopes.

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Tags: farmers, protest, government, agricultural


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