Bulgarian Greens Party Alerts to Suspended Organic Farming Subsidies
The Bulgarian Greens party (Zelenite) has cautioned that the government is about to stifle organic farming by depriving the segment of subsidies for 2014.
The party issued Wednesday an official declaration, vowing to fight the damaging steps through
In an official declaration of the party, they vow to fight the steps using every legal instrument permitted, including protests and demonstrations in support of organic farming.
The declaration of Bulgaria's Greens party was triggered by an ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food published on Wednesday envisaging the abolition of the opportunity for organic farmers to file applications for aid under Measure 214 "Agroecological payments," according to reports of dnevnik.bg.
According to the ordinance, subsidies for conventional agriculture remain in place.
The Greens party draws attention to the fact that organic farming payments are allocated directly from the EU budget and are not accompanied by co-financing from the state budget.
The party insists that instead of fulfilling its promises to make organic farming a priority sphere, Bulgaria's government plans to destroy the future of the segment.
The Bulgarian Greens party demands that the government start increasing organic farming subsidies gradually, at the same time easing certification regimes for organic products.
The party underscores that EU law does not require such stringent licensing regimes as Bulgaria has adopted.
Environmentalists stress that other EU member states provide subsidies for organic farming despite the unfavorable farming conditions there.
The Greens party emphasizes that Bulgaria cannot afford to cause extra damage to the sector, taking into account the global trends for switching to organic farming.
The formation highlights that Bulgaria boasts excellent conditions for developing agriculture and is yet seriously lagging behind other EU countries in the sphere.
The Greens party notes that the lag has a negative impact on the people involved in organic farming and at the same time the numbers of people deprived of access to clean and fresh food is growing.
The party points out that the suspended subsidies for organic farming are insignificant compared to the annual spending in the sector, with some BGN 4 M compared to a total of over BGN 1 B.
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