Today we will meet you with Mitko Pachev, a farmer who breeds the Simmental breed in the village of Dolno Kapinovo. The village is located in Kirkovo municipality, Kardzhali district, in the heart of the Eastern Rhodopes. With his activity Mitko completely refutes the generally accepted opinion that only the local Rhodope cattle can “grow” in these places.

 We are talking to him at the annual reporting meeting of NARMS, which was held in November in the town of Troyan.

– Hello, Mr. Pachev. Thank you for your time! Tell us about yourself.

– Hello, my name is Mitko Pachev, I am 40 years old and I come from Kardzhali. I own a farm in the village of Dolno Kapinovo. Before I started raising cattle, I had a business in the field of international transport and owned 9 trucks. Following the financial crisis in 2007, many companies in Europe stopped doing so. This is what I did, and I turned to cattle breeding, because my family has always kept animals. My grandfather and father raised sheep and goats. I started with a few animals, a dozen black-and-white cattle. Subsequently, I bought several Simmentals from a friend, contacted Atanasov and started inseminating only with Simmental seeds. I currently have over 60 animals and most of them are purebred and I am gradually clearing the herd.

            – What, in your opinion, are the main differences between Simmental and Holstein animals?

-The difference is huge! The indicators of the milk are incomparable, and I leave and fatten the male offspring for meat. Simmentals are definitely much better. The animals feel very well, are calm and very easy to keep. For me, it is tied and the milking is with a central milk duct.

            – What is the most important thing in raising animals from your experience?

            – Feeding. I was not very skilled in this field, but with the help of consultants and specialists over time I found the right solution and now I am satisfied. I attend exhibitions and events abroad to become constantly literate. This is very important for every farmer.

– Did you had the opportunity to visit foreign exhibitions and farms? What can we learn from them?

            – Unfortunately, in Bulgaria we are very behind in animal husbandry from Western countries. There the support and in general the attitude to this business is completely different. Farmers are also to blame for this. Under our conditions, it is much more difficult to develop a modern economy. We do not have the security to take risks, to invest. A real, working farmer is not a priority in support schemes. This point system gives privilege to the big players, and the small and medium business, which is the backbone of the economy, is placed in conditions of constant checks and requirements in order to receive a very insufficient help. Projects are often won by fictitious people or “their own people” who have no intention of engaging in animal husbandry and benefit the state and the industry, but simply absorb some money.

            – You still managed to take advantage of one of the support measures. What did you manage to build?

– I built the farm.. I was thinking about a larger project, but in Bulgaria, really, it is difficult to take risks. I applied for 3 more programs after that, but without success. I decided to manage on my own and I am currently building a barn for 100 cows. I hope to be able to buy some equipment at the upcoming reception under measure 4.1.

           – Why it makes sense to be a member of a breeding organization. Does the subsidy only motivate you?

– The subsidy is only one of the reasons, but meetings with colleagues, administrative assistance, seeds and contacts are no less important. Unfortunately, the guild is not sufficiently cohesive, and this will be the case as long as we are financially and administratively weak and highly dependent. It is normal for everyone to do as well as they can under these conditions. The selection is also not at the required level at all, yet.

            – It sounds a bit like a vicious circle. On the other hand, don’t you think that if farmers make an effort to unite and defend their rights together, the state will have no choice but to provide the necessary support?

– Of course, but our mentality is different. In Bulgaria as a whole, people find it difficult to unite.

            – From whom do you think the initiative should start?

            – From us, of course..These meetings between colleagues, like this one now, are very important. We need to be more and learn to look in one direction, to unite and help each other, to develop constantly.

             -Great call! We will visit you to show us the new barn, and until then success!

            – Good luck to you too!