Rose Harvesting Campaign Begins in Bulgaria, Poor Yield Expected
The campaign on the harvesting of the rose flowers has began in the region of Kazanlak, which is known as the Rose Valley of Bulgaria.
The producers are expecting a poorer harvest than last year's one, but a higher purchase prices for a kilogram of rose flower.
Producers comment that the main problem during this year's campaign will be again the lack of labour force and the main concern is that the yield will be lower.
According to them, this year there were fewer buds despite the usual treatment of the roses, even with the application of some more manure.
The executive officer of the Bulgarian National Association Essential Oils, Perfumery & Cosmetics Nikolina Uzunova also commented on the harvesting campaign in an interview for Focus news agency.
Uzunova said that the rose harvesting began last week in the more southern regions of the Rose Valley, where it usually starts, as the roses have not blossomed in full in all parts of the valley.
In her words, the purchase price in the beginning, middle and end of the harvesting campaign always differed, at present being above BGN 2 per kilogram.
She pointed that rather than the labour shortage, there was another problem, namely the opposition of rose pickers to commit themselves to employment or any other contracts.
This presented problem to businesses, which were related to seasonal employment – such as the picking of cherries, fruits and vegetables.
Uzunova said that the labour and the agriculture ministries have been addressed on numerous occasions to initiate a change in the social policy of the country.
She expressed hope that the legislative initiative, which was started this year, will solve most of the pressing problems.
One of the proposed measures included the introduction of arrangements regulating hiring with an employment contract for a day.
This would provide an incentive for those in long-term unemployment to become engaged without losing their rights to social benefits.
Uzunova reminded that 95 % of the produced rose oil in the country was sold outside Bulgaria.
This made it a high-quality, but expensive raw material, which is used mainly in the cosmetics industry.
According to her, there were no expectation for poor weather conditions at present and she expressed hope for a successful campaign.
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