More than 30 experts and young entrepreneurs in agriculture from Bulgaria and Greece took part in the international exchange – representatives of the partner organizations of the project: Hellenic National Youth Council, Agricultural University-Plovdiv, Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia, Youth Forum 21st Century Association, Euroregion Nestos Mesta, Regional Center for Vocational Education and Training to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Blagoevgrad and the Association for Regional Social and Economic Development.
The three-day study visit opened by experts from “Directorate European and National Programs and Projects and Ecology “, who presented the policies and activities of Haskovo Municipality for environmental protection in the municipality. The first day also included the visit to the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the introduction to its activities.
The participants followed the flow of the sewage from the collection into small cavities and from there to the large canals where parasites develop to purify the water that returns to the river and finally to the creation of solid fertilizer from the residues.
On the second day of the visit, the participants visited the town of Dimitrovgrad where the facilities of Neochim PLC are located. Neochim PLC is the successor of the Chemical Plant which started its production activities on 5th of November 1951. First, a presentation of the company’s history made by the director who shared some very interesting information with the participants. In the beginning nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers were produced. Later on, expansions, reconstructions and modernizations of the production facilities were carried out. In 1987 a new complex for the production of ammonia, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate was commissioned. In the period 1992-93 the plants producing sulfuric and phosphoric acid, aniline and nitrobenzene were shut down. In addition, the supervising engineer made an introduction to the environmental protection policy of Neochim so the visit to the facilities followed.
The trip around Haskovo continued with the visit to the Retro Auto which is the first and unique showroom for vintage cars in Bulgaria. The participants had the opportunity to see a wide selection of European and American masterpieces from different periods. Also, an introduction to the history of cars and the ways in which environmental policy is integrated into their production made by the owner.
The second day finished with the visit to the town of Harmanli where Villa Bassarea is located. Villa Bassarea was established in 2014. in the town of Harmanli by three friends – the brothers Todor and Kiril Bratanovi and the technologist Kamen Koev.
Driven by a common dream – to produce small batches of wines with a distinctive character from local grapes, they combine modern technology with the traditions of their ancestors. After an introduction to the wine production, the participants made wine tasting and tasted some of the best dishes of the Bassarea Reastaurant.
On the last day of the study visit the participants met with a representative of the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water who made a presentation of the policies for biodiversity protection in the region of Haskovo. The three-day study visit finished with the participants being transported to the village of Uzundzhovo, where they visited the largest rural church in Bulgaria, preserving one of the miraculous icons of the Virgin and the Alexander Tomb and there was an introduction of the ways to ensure a connection between ecology and cultural and historical heritage.