Agriculture in Bulgaria

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1 Agriculture in Bulgaria Situation and development of the national economy Economy of Bulgaria in 2007 the first year as a Member State of the European Union is economically stable and there is an increase in the main macroeconomic indicators. Gross Domestic Product in 2007 is million BGL, as it is million BGL in 2006 and million BGL in The real increase in GDP in 2007 is 6.2 % compared to the previous year. Gross Value Added in Agriculture and Forestry is million BGL. There is a drop of 29.7 % in GVA compared with The relative share of Gross Added Value produced by the agrarian sector preserved the downward trend of previous years: from 11.7% in 2003, 11.0% in 2004, 9.4 in 2005, 8.5% in 2006, to 6.2 % in Problems in agriculture development in 2007 affected the foreign trade and its balance is negative amounted to USD. Development of the agrarian sector 1. Land relations, production structures, labour force, use of agricultural land 1.1. Use of the areas of agricultural designation In 2007 the area of agricultural designation (AAD - formed of the used agricultural area and non-cultivated land) was ha and it occupied % of the territory of the country. Used agricultural area (UAA) comprises arable land, areas of perennial plants, areas of perennial green grass, family gardens, and greenhouse areas. It is ha in 2008, which is 46 % of the territory of the country. The non-cultivated area in 2008 is 4.9 % of the territory of the country ha. In 2008 vineyards of pure culture occupied 101 thousand ha, which was 2% of UAA in the country. It was 104 thousand ha in Structure of agricultural economy

2 In 2007 the number of farms decreased with 11% compared to For the agricultural period 2006/2007 they are around thousand, whereas in 2005 they are thousand. In the latest two years around 41 thousand farms have stopped working. The average UAA per farm is 6.5 ha or 1,3 ha more compared to In 2007 the total UAA of farms increased with 11%, while in 2005 they cultivated ha UAA, and ha in For the agricultural period 2006/2007 in about 405 thousand farms agricultural animals and poultry are bred. This number is 481 thousand in Despite the decrease in the number of animal farms there is a trend for increase in the average number of animals per farm, and this increase is highest in buffalo-cows and sheep. As a whole, however, there is a drop in the number of agricultural animals in the country and it is biggest in goats in 2007 their number decreased with 27% compared to The average age of farmers is 61 and 70% of them are over 55. Only 12.3% are under 45. Agricultural activities are additional source of income for about 331,2 thousand people, who work in other economic sectors and have few working hours in their farms. In farmers (producers of agricultural products) are registers. On July 25 th, 2008 the registered farmers are Production and economic results in 2007 and data about Production in plant-growing Climatic conditions in 2008 were more favourable than the long periods of drought in 2007, and this results in better and richer crops in The share of grain production (excluding maize) is 44-45% of the whole plantgrowing. The share of maize is up to 10-12%. Sunflower 23-24%. Grain production. In 2006 grain production was about thousand tons and a reduction by about 5.9% was observed compared to The reduced production was due mainly to the

3 reduction of the areas by 12.2% compared to In 2006 cereals occupied an area of thousand ha, which represents 52.1% of the cultivated land in the country. The largest areas of cereals were in the North-eastern Region 583 thousand ha or 58.1% of the cultivated land in the region. In the North Central Region cereals occupied 359 thousand ha (52.3% of the cultivated land in the region). Wheat. Areas under wheat in 2008 are ha and that is 0,5% less than Wheat production is tones and it is 93,8% more compared to The average quantity of harvest was 4,16 t/ha. Barley. In 2008 areas under barley are ha which is 15,0% more compared to Barley production in 2008 is 878 thousand tones - 109,2% more than production in Average quantity of harvest was increased with 75,5% compared to 2007 and it is 3,94 t/ha. Grain maize. In 2008 areas under grain maize are ha. There is a decrease with 17, 0% compared to Production in 2008 is tones and it is 337.4% more than production in Average quantity of harvest is 4,15 t/ha, which is 184,8% more than The major oil crops grown in the country are sunflower, rape, pea nuts, and soya. Sunflower. Sunflower is the main raw material of the group of oil crops used for production of oil in the country. In 2008 the areas under sunflower came up to ha, which is 5, 4% more than Tobacco. Areas under tobacco in 2007 are ha. The overall raw tobacco production is t and it is 856 t less than the previous harvest. Medicinal and aromatic crops The main medicinal and aromatic crops in Bulgaria are oil-bearing rose, lavender, mint, common balm, coriander, and common valerian. The harvested areas in 2008 are 23.2% less compared to Acreage reduction is due mainly to the situation of the medicinal crops product market. For instance, the areas under coriander were

4 reduced by 34.41% due to the fact that in 2005 the prices of coriander seeds had gone down. 2.2 Vegetables In 2007 the main areas under vegetables are 56.7 thousand ha, from which 2% are greenhouses. In 2007 vegetables produced are 803,5 thousand tones 32% less than the previous agrarian year. The main vegetable production in 2007 in Bulgaria is of potatoes thousand tones, tomatoes thousand tones, and peppers 81.7 thousand tones. The drop in production is in almost all kinds of vegetables. For example, the potato production decreased with 23% compared to the previous 2006 In 2007 there is an increase in areas used for greenhouses. Greenhouse vegetables production is 89.2 thousand tones. 69% of the production went to the direct market. The most processed vegetables are tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and cucumbers. There is a lack of good vegetable production organization (poor technologies, high expenses, and high prices of water for irrigation). Small producers do not like to consolidate in producers organizations. There are not trade agreement between producers and traders for realization of the production. Low purchase prices. Poorly trained labour force. These are the problems in vegetable production. 2.3 Fruit In 2007 areas under orchard crops are about 36 thousand ha marked an intensified interest in the creation of orchards of cherries, peaches, plums, and apples. The trend of upgrading of the variety structure continues. In 2006 the harvested areas comprise ha, i.e. by 1.39% lower compared to Reduction of the harvested areas in the North-western Region is 13.8%, followed by the North-eastern Region 8.4% and the South-eastern Region 1.5%. The rest of the regions marked increase of the harvested areas, which is 4.6% in the North Central Region, 3.8% in the South western Region, and 2.8% in the South Central Region. According to produced fruit the reduction is as follows: pears 25.9%, apricots 10.5%, walnuts 6.7%, apples 4.8%, plums 4.5%.

5 In 2006 the areas under plum and wild plum trees has the biggest relative share 22.7%, followed by cherries 18.4%, walnuts 11.5%, apples 11.5%, peaches 10.6% and apricots 10.4% of the total area of orchards. Fruit production in 2007 is by 10% lower compared to the previous economic year. Reduction is observed of the production of apricots, raspberries and walnuts. In 2007 the production of fruit reports lower average yield concerning all fruit types compared to the previous two years. The low average yields are also due to the new plants which bear fruit for the fist or second year. 2.4 Stock breeding There is a decrease in the number of farms 10.8%. The average number of animals per farm is increasing in all kinds of farms. In 2007 the number of cattle farms decreased with 13.1% and the number of cattle with 4.2%. Sheep farms decreased with 12.3% and the number of sheep decreased with 6.7%. The same trend is observed in the number of goat farms with 14.2%. There is a trend for consolidation in pig breeding sector, where the number of pigs decreased with 13, 8%. There is an increase of 6.8% in the number of buffalo cows. In 2007 there are tones milk produced, which is 12.4% less than Overall milk production in the country has decreased. Cow milk share is biggest 86.5%, smallest buffalo milk 0.5%. Sheep and goat milk - 6, 4% and 6,6%. Meat produced in the country in 2007 is ,6 tones - 1,7% more than White meat production marked an increase of 8.4%. White meat production is 49,4% of the total meat production in the country. Red meat produced is 4.1% less than production in Pork production is 63.9% of red meat production. There is a decrease in overall number of milking animals in Bulgaria. Jan 1st 2008 decrease of the total number of animals in milking farms in relation to the same period of the previous year: - Dairy cows decrease 2,8% (332,9 thousand cows), - Milking sheep decrease 6,2% (1 189,8 thousand sheep), - Milking goats decrease 7,8% (411,7 thousand goats)

6 At the end of 2008 total number of milking animals decreased 2,5% in relation to the end of 2007 and the number is about 1 822,5 thousand. As for the cow milk sector there are three groups of farms. Farms in the first group reach all requirements and only they will survive. The rest will stop sell milk after Dec 31 st, There is an crease in the number of the First group farms and decrease of Second group farms (passing from Second to First). There are no active efforts for passing from Third group to First and Second. Farms are getting bigger and there is an increase in the average number of animals per farm. However, there is decrease in total number of milking animals in Bulgaria, as well as, a decrease in total quantity of milk produced in Bulgaria - 7.7% down in relation to the previous year. Pig-breeding: Pig-breeding is the branch that is determinative for the production of red meat in the country. It provides 62,4% of the red meat production and 35% of the total meat production in Bulgaria. During the past years a growth has been encountered in the pork meat share in the total red meat production. The development of this sector is related to its getting in compliance with the European requirements, to the manufacture of safe and quality production, as well as to the selection being held for increasing the non-fat meat in the slaughter carcass. The basic pig breeds that are raised and bred in Bulgaria are the Large White Pig and the Landrace Pig of English, Dutch and Danish origin followed by the Danube White, the Silistra synthetic line and Swedish Large White. In the last years import has been observed of highly-productive parent forms from England, Denmark, Holland, etc. The greatest share among the mother pigs under selection control of the national geo-fund in Bulgaria belongs to the breeds English Large White, English Landrace and Danube White Pig. The number of the East Balkan Pig animals the only race adapted for natural breeding under control has increased substantially. In 2008 there is a drop in the number of pigs and swine. In the middle of 2008 the number of pig farms is thousand and it is 31,7% less than The average number of pigs per farm has increased and it is 5.8 pigs per farm in Pork production is ,9 tones in 2007, which is 1.8% less than It is 64% of the total red meat production.

7 Poultry farming: The period January December 2006 is characterized with an increase in the total number of birds, a growth in the production of bird meat and eggs, a positive balance between supply and demand of bird products. By December 31, 2006 the number of birds in Bulgaria is thousand, the layer hens and the pullets taking the basic percentage 51,6% as well as the chickens for cramming 37,4%. The number of the layer hens and the pullets has increased with 9,1% compared to 2005, whereas their number in large chicken breeding farms with a closed production cycle has stayed relatively permanent (4 883,8 thousand), and the rest are bread in small family chicken farms, whose eggs are being purchased and marked in small packaging centres approved by the National Veterinary Medical Service. In 2007 the trend of increasing the poultry meat production is stable. The export of meat and eggs is increasing. The reconstruction and modernization in the sector result in increasing of the indicators. The meat from broilers has the greatest share in the structures of the bird meat produced 76,9%. Duck meat is mostly offered as cut-up parts and in 2007 it reached tones that is 12% more than in the year 2006; the fat liver produced reached the amount of tones and it is 6,1% more than in Bee-keeping: In 2007 there are bee-keeping farms in the country. They have bee families. Drought and extremely high temperatures in 2007 are the main reasons for drop in bee honey production to tones, which is 45,2% less compared to The average production per bee family is 8.4 kg in 2007 twice less than the previous year.

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