Bulgaria insisted on increasing the amount of support for the country from the European Union’s agricultural reserve, the Ministry of Agriculture announced today.

The request was extended during a bilateral meeting between Deputy Minister of Agriculture Giorgi Sabev and European Commissioner for Agriculture Janus Vojciechovski, initiated by the Bulgarian side. The meeting took place during the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of the EU yesterday, Monday, in Brussels.

Sabev briefed the Commissioner on the current situation in the agricultural market and the difficulties faced by Bulgarian farmers due to excessive imports from Ukraine. Sabev reiterated that his country stands in solidarity with Ukraine and supports the need to secure supplies of agricultural products to guarantee global food security, but this should not jeopardize the competitiveness of EU farmers. He also informed that the pressure exerted by the Ukrainian imports into the Bulgarian market is a serious concern as, according to what he said, the most serious disturbances are observed in the sunflower seed market. In addition to Bulgaria, two other countries are expected to receive support from the agricultural reserve – Poland and Romania.

Challenges facing agriculture and uncertainty in agricultural markets were also discussed.

The Deputy Minister noted that the significant increase in the prices of fertilizers, chemicals, animal feed and energy is negatively affecting the access to working capital of farmers, who are also facing serious difficulties in marketing their products.

During the meeting, the Ministers of Agriculture discussed the critical picture that exists in the dairy sector and the need to take measures at the level of the European Union in order to stabilize the situation. Bulgaria supported the request for emergency aid from the agricultural reserve.