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Organic Producers in the Eastern Rhodopes are Open to Visitors and Tourists

Many producers of organic and in a process of certification agricultural products in the Eastern Rhodopes are opening their farms for visits of tourists and guests. The visitors will have the opportunity to see the fields and the gardens of the farmers and taste fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, honey, tahini and other typical product from the region.

These agriculture producers are supported by New Thracian Gold (NTG), a Dutch-Bulgarian project on sustainable development of the Eastern Rhodopes, which works in the region since 2009. The first to welcome the visitors are Dimo Karaboyukov and Georgi and Evgeni Latevi in the village of Popovets, Krasimir Arabadzhiev and Enver Yusein in the village of Topolovo, Georgi Shiskov in Tankovo and Petko Angelov in Rabovo. Their idea has already raised interest of tourists. More information about them and other producers in the region you can find here and at the desk of Avalon  and the NTG project during the starting ceremony of the International Exhibition Agra 2012 (Pavilion 3) in Plovdiv on Tuesday.

New Thracian Gold participates in Agra, which this year will be held from 6 to 10 March in Plovdiv, for third time. BioAgra,Trade Exhibition of Organic Farming will be held for the first time within the framework of the 21st International Agricultural Exhibition AGRA.  The event is organized in partnership with the Avalon Foundation, the Netherlands and the Agroecological Centre at the Agricultural University, Plovdiv. The exhibition is aiming to highlight organic farming as a production system that respects the environment and animal welfare and to showcase organic products аs a healthier alternative.The organic food market is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide. Bulgaria has great potential to turn organic agriculture in a leading sector.

BioAgra will be accompanied by a comprehensive business events programme including a conference on "Marketing of Organic Farming" and an "Evening of Organic Food" organized in cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Avalon Foundation, the Netherlands.

Knowledge and experience of leading in the EU countries and Bulgaria will be exposed during the conference on "Marketing of Organic Farming" (March 7, Congress Hall of Plovdiv International fair). Herman van Wissen, Agricultural Counsellor at the Dutch Embassy and Evgenyia Mitrova ,Chief of “Plant-growing” Directorate of the Ministry of the Agriculture and Foods   will open the conference. Ass. Prof. Vladislav Popov and Dr. Darko Znaor of the NTG team and experienced experts on marketing of organic products in the EU member-states will deliver speeches.

More than 180 people have been trained in organic farming within New Thracian Gold project at nine training events. Three manuals on organic agriculture principles and practices, organic herb production and organic plant protection have been published within the project and have enjoyed great success among organic producers. 16 farmers and processors were financially supported by the project through a scheme that covers 50% of their organic certification costs.  Two model organic farms we established within the project – in the villages of Topolovo and Gorno Pole. Their owners – Krassimir Arabadzhiev and Betty and Nikolay Vassilievi – are now open to vistors. At Topolovo model farm open days have been organized two years in a row.

In 2009, the New Thracian Gold project began with seven certified producers. There are currently over 37 producers who are certified or are in transition and three processors, controlled by certification bodies.

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