End of ban on import of Ukrainian grain: Additional 63M leva to support Bulgarian farmers

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Finance will allocate an additional 63 million leva to support farmers after the lifting of the ban on the import of Ukrainian grain, voted on September 14 by the National Assembly, the ministry said in a statement a few hours after the vote.

The funds are expected to be voted on by the government next week and transferred to the budget of the State Fund Agriculture, the ministry said.

Additional support for food producers in the second half of the year was promised at a meeting of livestock breeders with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and Finance Minister Assen Vasilev in July during the preparation of the 2023 Budget.

The funds amounting to 213 million leva were pledged in the Budget.

At the meeting, some of the livestock breeders categorically opposed the extension of the ban on the import of grain from Ukraine, with the argument that it increases the price of fodder, and hence food, and increases inflation.

At the end of August, a Cabinet decree on the budget of the State Fund Agriculture, additional costs of 150 million leva were approved from the central Budget to provide support to farmers according to national measures and to compensate for the increased prices of perennials, fodder, plant protection liquids, fuels and fertilisers.

The second part of the aid, amounting to 63 million leva will be granted, since after the lifting of the ban on imports from Ukraine, the necessary tax revenue will be guaranteed, the Finance Ministry said.

After the approval of the aid by the government, the State Fund Agriculture should ensure that the aid reaches the farmers.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskky, in a message on X (twitter.com) on September 14, said: “I am grateful to Bulgaria for its decision not to prolong restrictions on Ukraine’s agricultural exports after September 15th. I thank PM Nikolai Denkov and his team, as well as Bulgarian parliamentarians who supported this move. Bulgaria sets an example of true solidarity”.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said: “Grateful to Bulgarian Parliament, the government and Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov for the support of the Ukrainian people and Solidarity Lanes”.

(Photo: Christa Richert/sxc.hu)

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