EU to Step Up Efforts to Back Dairy Producers amid Russian Food Ban
Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, has admitted that dairy farmers in the EU, including Bulgaria-based ones, are going through a rough patch not only due to the Russian ban on imports of agricultural production from Western countries, but also the instability of the market.
In an interview for investor.bg, Hogan, who attended the official launch of the pilot stage of a project of the Social Development Initiative organization in Bulgaria on Friday, said that Bulgaria’s Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva had already proposed agricultural programs envisaging subsidies for dairy producers in the country.
He specified that the EU was already providing financial support to dairy producers in Bulgaria in the form of subsidies.
Hogan suggested that the sector would continue to experience difficulties by the end of the year, adding that the EU was doing everything possible to provide new market opportunities for dairy producers in Bulgaria and the EU as a whole.
He said that he was hoping for significant success in the sector over the next 6-12 months.
Asked whether additional measures to support farmers were necessary to compensate for the damage caused by the Russian embargo, he noted that Bulgaria had not been a major exporter of agricultural products to Russia even before the problems with that country started.
He underscored that the measures adopted by the EU were aimed at supporting agricultural producers reliant on export to Russia.
Hogan noted that he and EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva were trying to find the necessary financial resources to provide additional support and more measures to fight the shrinking fruit and vegetables market and to offer targeted support for producers of dairy and meat products initially earmarked for the Russian market.
He argued that by sticking to these measures the scenario of Bulgarian farmers facing increased competition from neighbor countries would be avoided, adding that it was a way to help Bulgarian farmers indirectly.
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