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Press Release

January 18, 2018

Green Week update

Bulgaria’s Minister for Agriculture is proud of Green Week partnership

Speaking at the start of the Green Week, Rumen Porodzanov, Bulgaria’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forests, stated: “We regard it a great honour to be able to present Bulgarian cuisine and typical products found on every table in Bulgaria a a wider public”. In this same connection he emphasised his pride in the fact that his nation is the partner country of the fair this year. Speaking to the press, Porodzanov explained that agriculture occupies a special place in Bulgaria. This Balkan country’s geographical location, productive soils and favourable climate provide ideal conditions for cultivation and livestock production. As the Minister for Agriculture explained, the agricultural sector accounts for around five per cent of added value. Approximately seven per cent of all jobs are in agriculture, and Porodzanov expressed his confidence that this sector will retain its importance, especially for rural areas. He also drew attention to the significance of Bulgaria’s membership of the EU eleven years ago, and the positive impact that this has had. For example, during the intervening years labour productivity and incomes have increased, and many innovations have found their way into the agricultural sector.

Minister Schmidt: The need to ensure effective separation between wild and domestic animals

In order to protect against the threat of African swine fever, Germany’s Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt called upon agriculture and forestry to ensure the maximum possible separation between wild and domestic animals. Furthermore high standards of hygiene must be observed, the CSU politician warned on Thursday (18 Jan.) during an event organised by the Association of Agricultural Journalists. He also stressed that the transport and delivery routes for livestock production must be closely monitored. Schmidt expressed his “extreme concern” about the “unhealthy trend” in sales of agricultural land to financial investors. This raises the question of whether this land can continue to be used for agricultural purposes in the long term. The minister admitted that there had been political failures in assessing this practice. The future German government must undertake measures to make it easier for land to be transferred from one farmer to another than for it be sold by one investor to another.

Farmers’ president Rukwied advocates the moderate use of glyphosate

“The German Farmers’ Union (DBV) looks forward to a stimulating dialogue with consumers, politicians and the representatives of the agricultural and food markets. At this year’s International Green Week we are presenting visitors with agriculture that they can feel, taste and touch”, said Joachim Rukwied, President of the DBV, during a question and answer session with the Association of German Agricultural Journalists at the Green Week. The DBV continues to advocate the moderate use of glyphosate. Without the use of this chemical product farmers would have to plough much more frequently, which would lead to a substantial increase in CO2 emissions. Rukwied welcomed the return of Russia to the fair. “However, I am less optimistic about a reduction in the reciprocal sanctions being applied by the EU and Russia. These sanctions have cost our farmers up to 600 million euros in lost income”, said Rukwied. Rukwied again repeated his demand for seventy per cent of wild pigs to be culled in order to protect domestic pigs against African swine fever.

VDAJ: NDR journalists awarded the Communication Prize

This year the Association of German Agricultural Journalists (VDAJ) has awarded its Communication Prize to two journalists: This prize was presented to Rebekka Bahr and Matthias Vogler during the Green Week for their one-hour documentary on the NDR channel entitled “Bauernschlau und Powerfrau” (Farmers’ shrewdness and powerful women”, focusing on a conventional farming enterprise and a Demeter organic farm in in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. “It accurately displayed the mentality of the farmers, whose hearts are in their work, just like the journalists”, said Germany’s Federal Minister for Agriculture, Christian Schmid, during the award ceremony. Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers’ Union, congratulated the two of them on behalf of his profession: “Whether conventional or organic, I am delighted that this film links them both.” The documentary reveals that these two forms of farming are not being played off, one against the other, said the chairwoman of the VDAJ, Katharina Seuser.