BULGARIA DROPS OFF THE US PROGRAMME
A senior official of the US Agricultural Department announced the official launch of the American Government's programme, known as Food-for-Progress for the new fiscal year (October 2003 - September 2004). USD115MN will be granted under it to help developing countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. The deliveries include 250,000 tons of milling wheat, white flour, rice, vegetable oil, soya groats and soya flour, maize, peas, and other agricultural products. These commodities will be purchased on the US market and supplied to the approved countries. Each delivery will be effected in compliance to bilateral contracts between the US Agricultural Department and the respective country, and the money from the sale of goods under the programme will finance various projects in the recipient country.The Food-for-Progress programme has been effective since 1985. Until two years ago Bulgaria was also on the list of developing countries and received various goods, such as soya groats, maize, beans, etc. Most of them were trade on the local commodity exchanges. The money from that programme used to go for the implementation of reforms in agriculture and for assisting branch organisations in the sector. This year, however, Bulgaria is not on the list of countries, etitled to such aid. According to officials of the representative office of the US Agricultural Department in Bulgaria, the reason for that is our country's progress in the sphere market economy and Bulgaria's soon admittance into the European Union.