Greenhouse visited during Dutch visit to Bulgaria

"Sharing knowledge and experience is a way forward," said Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Georgi Sabev during the Dutch horticultural mission between 10 and 13 October this year. The delegation comprised 14 organizations from the public and private sectors and was led by Guido Landheer, deputy director general of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The following report appeared at Agroberichten Buitenland.

Following a visit by Bulgarians to the Netherlands in July, the Netherlands was returning the favor to see the country that has ambitions to double its own domestic fruit and vegetable production within now and five years.

Visits
The visit took place between 10 and 13 October this year. On 11 October, a visit to the Intelifresh congress in the Bulgarian capital Sofia was on the program. Intelifresh, the largest congress for the Bulgarian fruit and vegetable sector, was this time, entirely dedicated to Bulgarian-Dutch cooperation. In a keynote speech, Deputy Minister Todor Dzhikov spoke about the available EU budget from the recovery and resilience plan Bulgaria is receiving from Brussels. And that this offers opportunities for the development of the sector. He also spoke about the increasing challenges facing producers. Guido Landheer also spoke about these challenges in his speech and the importance of cooperation to meet them.

This was followed by a match-making opportunity: in short business-to-business (B2B) meetings, Bulgarian companies were given the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas and to explore possible cooperation.

Cooperation was also the theme of the concluding table discussion between Deputy Minister Sabev, Bulgarian sector organizations, and, on the Dutch side, Plv DG Guido Landheer and representatives of the business delegation. A presentation by NLWorks explained what such cooperation could look like in the Partners in International Business model (PIB).

Company visits
The next day, 12 October, the delegation made a number of company visits. In Sofia, an ambitious fruit and vegetable packer was visited. In Plovdiv, a fruit grower active in both greenhouse farming and orchards was visited. The progressive company for the Bulgarian market already cooperates with a number of Dutch companies and would like to deepen and expand these collaborations to meet the challenges of the moment.

The lunch program was hosted by Plovdiv Agricultural University in cooperation with Wageningen University. The universities are cooperating at the European level and exploring opportunities for deepening this cooperation. For example, in the form of a study program for Bulgarian professionals. The delegation was given a tour of the campus and briefed on the rich history of Bulgarian fruit and vegetable growing.

The mission provided a number of leads for possible B2B collaborations. Moreover, the visit painted a good picture of Bulgarian practices. The essential basis for further Bulgarian-Dutch cooperation.

Source: Agroberichten Buitenland


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