Global agriculture faces many
challenges. Climate change, growing food and water needs due to the rising
population that is expected to be over 9 billion in the world in 2030, and global
food needs to grow by 35%. Those inefficient use of resources require certain
action policies. Reducing emissions should be a top priority. Thus it is
important not only what the farmers are producing on their agricultural sites,
but also how they do it in order to achieve sustainability.
In Bulgaria agriculture,
as part of the country’s economy, contributes to the overall economic
development. Until the beginning of the new millennium, it formed over 10% of the national GDP. The country’s
GDP is growing in real terms, with about 88 billion leva in 2015 and has an
increase of overall 3% in 2016.
However, GDP growth
in terms of agriculture after 2009 fluctuates within the 2% limits and the
reasons for this
plateau are both in the domestic economic environment and in the
difficult-to-recover European economy. Despite the difficult world economic
situation, the rest of the economy shows faster growth rates than agriculture.
Bulgaria, which employs about
million people in
agriculture, has a total agricultural land of 5.6 million hectares. It should
be noted that with regard to the agricultural structure of the country there is
a significant improvement in reducing the abandoned land, which for the period
2007-2015 has been reduced by more than 3 times and currently is less than 150
thousand hectares. This is one of the most important effects of the country’s
EU membership. If in the 1990s more than 1 million of agricultural land was
abandoned and not managed, the percentage of these lands has now dropped
significantly and such areas can be found predominantly in mountainous and
other less favored areas.
Moreover, Bulgaria is among the 10 largest
exporters of agricultural produce in EU
and among the 5 largest exporters of rapeseed in the world. However, there are
a lot of problems in the sector that are restricting the growth of the agricultural
growth in the country.
Experts point out that among
the main problems of Bulgarian farmers are that they do not insure their lands
and their production against disasters, accidents and catastrophes, and that
they do not optimize their production. Moreover, the country has not mapped the
quality of her soils. According to the legislation in force in the country,
farmers are obliged each year to outline only the lands they cultivate in the municipal
services “Agriculture and Forests” and during the year to keep logs
for plant protection, fertilization, etc. for each plot they process, but because
of the outdated technology, most of the farmers cannot fulfill those
Another sever problem in the
sector is that there is no information system with risk maps and hot spots in
terms of resource scarcity which will help both farmers and the state to take precautious
actions in order to facilitate the most of the agricultural production. And
finally there is no clear strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of the sector.
Another problem in the country’s
agriculture sector is the lack of financial incentive for farmers to be
involved in the sector. Even though the country receives huge amount of EU
subsidies for agriculture the state’s program allocates the received EU funds
only among the biggest producers and land owners because they are the only once
that can fulfill the requirements set by the government for receiving a
However, the biggest problem of
the sector is that it needs modernization. The majority of the farmers are
still using the old methods of cultivation and by using the new technological
improvements such as smart farming could increase fourth fold their yield.
Thus, the state interactions
need to be clearly defined in agriculture and to work on solving problems
through sustainable development policies and imposing restrictions on the waste
of resources – human, water, etc. Today’s technology allows for a rich flight
of imagination, which will help the development of the agriculture sector.