Bulgaria: The silver lining in Bulgarian agriculture

Bulgaria: The silver lining in Bulgarian agriculture

Institute of Agricultural Economics is holding an International Forum in Sofia

Risk management in agriculture constitutes an extremely important parameter for the sustainable development of the sector. Apart from climate conditions and diseases, which represent the main risks to agriculture and livestock, another important factor is the market situation. This became especially evident amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when the sector experienced supply disruptions and difficulties in delivering agricultural products to consumers.

The topic of analysis and management of risks in agriculture will be at the epicenter of the international scientific conference “Agriculture and Food Supply: Markets and Policy Reflections”, which kicks off on Tuesday 27 October. The two-day forum is organized for the seventh consecutive year, marking the Institute of Agricultural Economics’ 85th anniversary since its founding.

The Director of the Institute, Associate Professor Dr. Bozindar Ivanov, is the author of the forum’s first report, which highlights the approach to risk assessment in agriculture, giving an example of the effects of African swine fever in Bulgaria:

“With the African swine fever, which started in 2019, we got along relatively easily. The direct losses in pig farming in Bulgaria amount to approximately 4%. If we add the indirect losses, which we calculate via the number of breeding animals that are lost and will not be bred in the coming years, the figure climbs to 10%.

Bulgaria’s agriculture has at least two forms – Professor Dr. Bozindar Ivanov said in an interview with the Bulgarian National Radio.

“There is modern Bulgarian agriculture, with the farms created in the last twenty years. They are constantly closing the gap with the most modern practices and methods of agriculture, that is, they are inquisitive, they apply new technologies, they are vigilant, because only through innovation, modernization, investment in science and knowledge can they be competitive. We also have traditional agriculture, with small and medium-size farmers. But when it comes to technology and innovation, we need to know that they have a price that is not small”.

To what extent can agriculture influence regional policy in the country?

“The goal is to have a balanced local development and get all regions at the same level. This will stop immigration, the desire of people to live in big cities, where more job and career opportunities are constantly offered. Agriculture is still an important livelihood, mainly in rural areas, where it accounts for at least 50% of economic activity. Agriculture is also an important sector in mountainous and high mountainous and sparsely populated regions, where there is no other choice”.

What is the optimistic scenario for the Bulgarian rural areas?

“I believe that, in the future, technology, modernization, the ability of a person to progress professionally and personally without the need to live in the big city, will reposition the return to the villages as an option for people. But this will not happen any time soon, at least not in the next 10-20-30 years. However, until then we must not let the rural areas perish, as that would result in a process of reverse migration”.

Experts from the USA, Italy, Poland, Romania and North Macedonia are expected in the Bulgarian capital for the conference “Agriculture and Food Supply: Markets and Agricultural Policies”. /ibna

Source: Bulgarian National Radio