Despite the recent agreement reached between the government and major farming organizations, two farmers’ associations are persisting with their protest actions. Today, they plan to block the Ilinden-Exochi border crossing in a display of ongoing discontent.
Following a meeting at the Council of Ministers yesterday, an agreement was brokered regarding the payment of Ukrainian aid and other demands from the agricultural sector. Representatives from the National Association of Grain Producers and the Bulgarian Agrarian Chamber announced a suspension of effective actions starting Monday. Notably, the agreement also aims to maintain last year’s rates for sensitive sectors.
Under the agreement, all farms will receive aid, albeit with reduced amounts for those with over 3,000 acres. Owners of larger farms will need to substantiate their losses through a simplified reporting process, which is expected to be less burdensome than traditional tax declarations.
Tomorrow’s meeting with Agriculture Minister Kiril Vatev will refine the agreement’s details, with plans for it to be formally signed on Monday, as announced by the minister in an interview with BNT.
However, dissent remains among some farming groups. The National Association of Potato Growers has opted out of the agreement, expressing disapproval by freezing its membership in the Bulgarian Agrarian Chamber. They plan to continue their protest actions and will join today’s blockade at the Ilinden-Exochi border crossing from 11 am to 2 pm.
Potato growers are advocating for the government to challenge aspects of the European Green Deal, halt imports of products failing to meet European standards from third countries, and provide additional compensation for farmers in mountainous regions.
Similarly, the United Agricultural Producers association rejects the agreement and insists on regulatory changes for state support, along with tax and regulatory relief for the sector.