Bulgaria's Tobacco Producers Stage Further Protests
Tobacco producers from the Bulgarian district of Gotse Delchev are to protest on Friday and Saturday against the delayed purchase campaign and the low purchase prices of this year's harvest.
The protest is scheduled to start at 14 o'clock on Friday at the diversion of the Garmen-Gotse Delchev road next to Mesta river.
This was announced by the chairman of the Union of Oriental Tobacco Producers in Bulgaria and mayor of Satovcha municipality Arben Mimenov.
Mimenov said that only one third of the firms that purchase tobacco have been in operation, and the delay in purchase leads to the deterioration of the tobacco's quality.
At present the prices vary between BGN 3.80 and BGN 5.30 per kilogramme, with all prices below BGN 6 meaning that the producers are at a loss.
In Mimenov's words, producers are at the edge of despair and their protests are spontaneous.
Mimenov revealed that he was invited to a meeting with Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva, which has been scheduled for December 15, at which he is to present the demands of the producers.
He expressed the desire that all institutions address the problem and make the necessary amendments to the Tobacco Act that will regulate the purchase process.
Tobacco producers are to protest tomorrow in the town square of Hadzhidimovo, announced Ivan Sabahlakov, chairman of the recently-established association Basma, which unites producers of the namesake variety of Oriental tobacco.
Sabahlakov said that around this time every year things repeat themselves and no measures are taken.
Only three purchasing firms are active on the market in a region with 72 villages.
This leads to the slowing down of the purchase campaign and the discontent of producers.
Sabahlakov added that protests of producers are to be expected in the districts of Haskovo and Svilengrad.
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