WORLD BANK WILL EXTEND USD80MN FOR AGRICULTURE
Minister of Finance in resignation Muravey Radev and World Bank's Country Director for Bulgaria Andrew Vorkink signed on July 5, 2001 two agreements for loans under projects for assistance of Bulgarian agriculture. The money will be directed to agricultural producers, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, and land owners. The two credits are part of the 3-year agreement with the WB for assistance of reforms in Bulgaia, which expires this year.
The first loan, worth USD30MN, is under the Cadastre and Real Estate project and is intended for a change of the real estate registration system. About 90% of the families in Bulgaria own land in one form or another, but the fact that no cadastre exists impedes sale of land in many regions of the country. The project's implementation will make access to information easy and will modernize the system for trade in land and its use for guaranteeing credits.
The second loan, worth USD50MN, is under the ASAL II project for restructuring of Bulgarian agriculture. The funds under it are intended to assist the policy of reforms in the agricultural sector. This will allow farmers deposit their products in licensed storehouses and get credits against warehouse receipts. Thus, agricultural producers will have an opportunity to sell their crop when they can get better prices, and not when they are pressed for money, Mr Vorkink commented.
Privatisation of agricultural enterprises and structural reforms in the irrigation system are the other sectors where funds under ASAL II will go. The competitiveness of farmers and entrepreneurs on both the domestic and the international market is expected to imporove. The immediate aim is to increase profits of people engaged in the agricultural sector and create more working positions.