EU to Grant Bulgaria EUR 133 M of Vine-Growing Subsidies
Bulgaria will receive EUR 133 M from the European Union, which will subsidize vine-growing and wine production under a new operational program.
Krasimir Koev, who heads Bulgaria's Vine and Wine Agency, said that the new program was signed Wednesday, the website Expert.bg reported.
Upon receiving EU funds, new vines are to be planted across Bulgaria.
Out of 81 000 hectares of land suited for vine-growing, 68 000 are used for that purpose, Koev underscored, adding that new grants could trigger interests in the field.
Koev described 2013 as "the best in a decade" in terms of grape crops, which were mostly bought up by wine factories.
Some 250 000 tons of grapes were turned into 175 M liters of wine, 137 M of which were exported.
The latter number suggests an almost twofold increase of wine exports compared to the previous year.
There are 260 wine concerns operating in Bulgaria, with 14 more to start work by the end of 2014.
Vine-growing and wine-production are among the few sectors which the European crisis failed to affect. The last couple of years have proved to be quite successful, with high expectations for wine grape yields set for 2014.