A NATIONAL BOARD TO TAKE CARE OF DAIRYING
The establishment of a National Dairy Board is among the obligatory steps Bulgaria should take for its integration into the European Union (EU). A board of the kind was created two weeks ago with the aim to manage and control the quality of fresh milk through territorial laboratories. However, the board will start implementing its main function in 2007. It will take part in the distribution and control over the individual quotas allotted for cow's milk export to the EU member countries. Annually, Bulgaria will be allowed to sell 979,000 tons within the community. Another important function of the board will be to make proposals for the amounts that are to be launched for milk production by the European funds. The new body will be entitled to intervene on the market and maintain relatively constant prices in case the market situation changes dramatically. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 7,500 milk producers in Bulgaria as of May 1, while the financial assistance they receive from the Agriculture State Fund amounts to BGN9MN.There is still a lot of administrative work that the board should do in a short period of time. First of all, it will prepare a strategy for development of the dairying sector as well as an annual report on its current condition. Moreover, the organisation will introduce a register of dairy products with a protected name of origin. There will be eight Regional Dairy Boards operating in the country with offices in Sliven, Plovdiv, Kurdzhali, Blagoevgrad, Vratsa, Pleven, Rousse, and Dobrich. Financial resources for the administrative needs of the body have been provided, too. For 2005, the Ministry of Agriculture is paying BGN300,000 for the establishment of the central administration as well as BGN550,000 for the opening of the Regional Dairy Boards.Dimitar Zorov, Chairman of the Association of Dairy Products Manufacturers in Bulgaria, became Chairman of the dairy board. Plamen Penchev, Chairman of the Association of Milk Producers (AMP), will be his deputy. The supervising board will be presided by Atanas Kiskinov, AMP Executive Director.