Minister of Agriculture Yavor Gechev imposed a three-month ban on the export of wood from Bulgaria. The export ban has been in effect since last week. The main objective of the prohibition is to reduce the prices of solid fuel in the country to avoid a deflection.
In the region of the South-Western State Enterprise, which covers 38 forest directorates, there is a shortage of both firewood and wood used in general. The main reason behind the deficit is the lack of sufficient labour.
Yuliy Sirakov- chief expert in the “Protection of Forest Territories” department at the Blagoevgrad SDP, said, ” The salary of the labour who works in the woods is not at the required level. It is almost impossible for them to fulfil their requirements. The labour market is currently extremely competitive, especially on large farms; finding people to work there is challenging. Cutting and extracting wood is not an easy job; it’s a hard job requiring physical endurance. That’s why people always run away. In order to secure the labour, they should be given a satisfying salary”.
People choose to acquire the much-needed resource for the winter by logging illegally because they don’t have any other option left due to long waiting lists and unaffordable prices.
Yuliy Sirakov, chief expert in the “Protection of Forest Territories” department at the SZDP Blagoevgrad, commented, ” It is challenging to talk about timber mafia as illegal logging is at its peak. He also said, ” We are taking every measure to stop illegal logging. Recently, we have detained three mafia trucks fully loaded with firewood.
The number of field forest inspectors in the district directorates has doubled this year to curb illegal logging. However, increased control and penalties didn’t impact the offenders.