A regular meeting of the Business Council was held in the Agro-food industry in the city of Dzebel

On 07.04.2023 at 13:00 in the meeting hall of the Municipality of Jebel, the next regular meeting of the Business Council in the Agri-food sector in the border regions of Blagoevgrad, Haskovo, Kardjali and Smolyan was held, and the activity is carried out under the project "Business Council – BC 6275” financed by the INTERREG V/A GREECE-BULGARIA 2014-2020 program, Subsidy contract No. B6.3a.18/13.04.2021.

The meeting was attended by six representatives of the sector from the border regions of Haskovo, Kardzhali, Blagoevgrad and Smolyan. The hall for holding the meeting was secured technically, being equipped - multimedia, portable computer, printer, as well as information boards, banner and presentation materials, according to the requirements of the Communication and Publicity Guide of the Interreg V/A Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020 program . In addition, disinfectants were provided, as well as water, coffee and tea to ensure the event's coffee break.

The moderator of the event welcomed all those present and started the event by making a brief presentation of the Regulations for the work of BS in the Agro-food sector.

At the beginning of the free discussion, those present at the meeting told the team about tobacco production, developed in the past on the territory of the municipality. In the 1950s, tobacco became the most important export product of Bulgaria, as the Jebel tobacco region was one of the most productive, and the tobacco produced in Jebel was of the highest quality. Unfortunately, in recent years, depopulation and conditions in the municipality (increasingly small and fragmented areas for tobacco production). Those present told the team that this fragmented production and extremely manual labor makes it almost impossible to form associations of tobacco producers.

Everything listed so far by the members of the business council, outlines a trend for a permanent decline in tobacco production. This, in turn, leads to a growing lack of interest in the industry, both from the population and from the municipality.

The members of BS expressed their desire together with the municipality to work towards the promotion of traditional tobacco production in the region. Turning its cultivation into an attractive tourist product to attract more and more young people to return to their roots, using the natural conditions that the municipality of Dzhebel has.

The project management team has committed to raise the issue of tobacco at the upcoming meeting with local authorities.