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Sep 20, 2023 10:32 EEST
September 20 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria will allow sunflower seed to be imported from Ukraine only once a quota for Bulgaria has been determined, the government in Sofia said.
Local sunflower growers and the oil processing industry will first agree on the specific additional quantities that need to be imported, in order to guarantee both a priority for the domestic production and an uninterrupted supply of raw material for sunflower oil manufacturers, the government said in a press release after prime minister Nikolay Denkov together with the agriculture and finance ministers met with protesting agricultural producers.
You can download the 2023 Agriculture industry in Southeast Europe report here
National protests were initiated by local producers after lawmakers last week voted not to extend a freeze on Ukrainian imports of wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed beyond September 15. The suspension of imports was put in place earlier this year in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia by the European Commission after local growers objected to the influx of cheaper Ukrainian grains.
The Bulgarian prime minister will inform his Ukrainian counterpart of the proposed import quota.
The government's response to protesters in Sofia coincided with Ukraine announcing it has filed lawsuits with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, in response to these countries imposing unilateral bans on the imports of Ukrainian agricultural products on September 15.
The government also agreed to a demand by the producers to speed up the disbursement of state aid earmarked to soften the negative economic impact of Russia's war in Ukraine on the sector.
The full state aid amount of 213 million levs ($116.3 million/108.9 million euro) will be paid out to farmers by the end of September, the government added.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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