60 000 Bulgarian Dairy Farms Don't Follow EU Standards

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | February 28, 2011, Monday // 14:48
Bulgaria: 60 000 Bulgarian Dairy Farms Don't Follow EU Standards Even though about 65 000 dairy farms in Bulgaria do not meet the EU standards for hygiene of the milk, 24 000 of them sell the product on the market. Photo by BGNES

Between 60 000 and 65 000 dairy farms in Bulgaria do not meet the European standards for hygiene, but 24 000 of them sell milk on the market.

The data was announced Monday by Bulgaria's Deputy Agriculture Minister Tsvetan Dimitrov.

"After we identified the farms, we decided on measures that would have to be implemented this year," he said.

In his words, it was decided last week that the State Agriculture Fund should fund the diary sector.

"For the purpose, EUR 80 M will be provided from the Program for Rural Development and BGN 20 M will be provided from the state budget as a loan," Dimitrov said.

He has explained that very farm owner who wants to improve the conditions in his farm will receive about 60-65% of the needed investment. Second and third category farms need about BGN 20-40 000 of investments, he added.

An informational campaign for stock breeders is scheduled to begin March 7. According to Dimitrov, experts from the Agriculture Ministry will explain to farmers what they should do in order to cover the minimum requirements.

"If farmers have started their investments, whether with funding from the State Agriculture Fund or not, even if they have not completed it within the respective year, their farms will not be closed. But they will be forbidden to sell milk," he said.

2011 is the last year, in which farmers have to meet the European standards for hygiene of the milk.

At the beginning of February, the Agriculture Ministry announced that 2609 dairy farms in Bulgaria meet all the criteria for hygiene of the milk and the equipment.

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Tags: dairy farm, EU, milk, Agriculture Ministry
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