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Organic Production in Bulgaria Up by 30% in 2011

The share of organic vs conventional production in Bulgaria registered a 30% annual increase in 2011, according to Tsvetan Dimitrov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food. Speaking at a seminar on the benefits of organic products, he said that the control system indicated a total area of 26 622 hectares used for organic farming in 2011 due to the increased demand for such products on the European and global markets.

Cereals were most popular among organic producers, with a 20% annual increase in cereal areas in 2011. Wheat, corn, barley and rye had occupied the largest organic areas in 2011. He  announced that the areas used for growing organic vegetables had increased by 60% to 670 hectares in 2011 from 2010. The areas used for growing perennial crops like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and chestnuts (also very popular among organic farmers), had registered an annual increase of over 60%, followed by plum trees with 40% and apricot and apple trees, according to data from the control system.

Deputy Minister Dimitrov drew attention to the fact that organic livestock breeding had also increased significantly in 2011, with a total of 10 000 sheep and goats, 58 000 bee families and the first registered organic bison farm with 200 animals.

The seminar was organized during the outdoor exhibition of Bulgarian certified organic production in the city center in Sofia from 4 till 6 June. The next day after the exhibition, the 'Cooking Days' with organic and local agricultural produce from the Eastern Rhodopes started. The event is organized by the New Thracian Gold project with the support and participation of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bulgaria and "Soul Kitchen"-Sofia.

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