Bulgaria Newsflash Week 11

More Bulgarian vegetable production this year; new smart farming tool for increasing the quality of crops; Bulgaria’s first animal hospital opens doors, compensations for industrial fishing; Bulgarian space foods in demand: agricultural news from Bulgaria in a nutshell.


Expectations for increased vegetable production in Bulgaria

The production of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in Bulgaria in 2021 will increase. The growth will be driven by the expected favourable climate conditions and higher targeted subsidies in the sector, the Centre for Agro Policy Analysis (САРА) said. According to early estimates, the production of tomatoes will reach 145,000 t, increasing by some 12% from 2020. The production of peppers is likely to near 55,000t, which is close to last year’s 53,000 t. The cucumbers output in 2020 is estimated at some 74,000 t and CAPA expects 72,000 t this year.

Statistics: Agriculture has the lowest labour productivity in Bulgaria

In the fourth quarter of 2020, agriculture had the lowest labour productivity in Bulgaria of BGN 1,719.5 gross value added per worker and BGN 4.7 per man-hour, according to snap statistics of the National Statistical Institute. Agriculture employed 16.1% of the working population in 2020, up from 15.9% a year earlier. The most employees are reported in the services sector (58.7%) and in industry (25.2%). The coronavirus pandemic left lasting marks on Bulgaria’s economic metrics in 2020. The GDP reached a nominal value of BGN 118,605 million or BGN 17,109 per person, which is equal to USD 9,974 and EUR 8,748. The gross value added stands at BGN 102,649 million, which is 4.3% below the 2019 figure.


Compensations provided for losses in industrial fishing

Over BNG 2.2 million (EUR 1.1 million) will be available under an emergency measure in the Maritime and Fisheries Programme 2014-2020 in compensations for fishermen and fishing vessel owners, who have sustained direct losses due to the pandemic, Investor reports. They have until April 13 to apply for subsidies for the days they had to stop temporarily industrial fishing between February 1 and December 31, 2020. The maximum subsidy is BGN 80,000 (EUR 40,000) per fishing vessel and the maximum intensity 100%. Two other emergency measures for compensating the losses of producers of aquacultures and processing businesses in the sector, will be open until April 5.

Bulgarian space foods in demand on international markets

Bulgaria has long traditions in the production of space foods and the quality of these foods is very high, Prof. Dr. Iliana Nacheva of the Institute of Cryobiology with the Agricultural Academy, told Bloomberg TV Bulgaria. Bulgaria was the third country after the United States and Russia to start producing space foods. They are made by an original technology developed by Academician Tsvetan Tsvetkov back in the 1970s: the ingredients are first frozen at -40C after which they are dehydrated in vacuum and the temperature is then slowly raised to +35C. The final product is fine dried food which is easy to transport and prepare into powder and pills. The Institute of Cryobiology no longer “cooks” for astronauts but for climbers and people with health issues. There is no mass production of space foods in Bulgaria, which is partly due to the outdated equipment and the lack of a developed domestic market.

A1 Digital services for farmers

New Bulgarian application for smart farming

Mobile operator A1 is launching a solution for smart farming which will help increase the quality of crops and outputs. It is a unique combination of measuring devices integrated in a cloud, which gives Bulgarian farmers reliable data so that they can plan for optimal irrigation and crop protection applications. It saves time and labour, and reduces the costs for water and fertilizers. Weather and soil metrics in the farm fields are monitored in real time via smart weather stations.

Bulgaria’s first animal hospital opens in Stara Zagora

Bulgaria’s first animal hospital started working around-the-clock in early March, Sinor.bg reports. The hospital uses facilities of the clinics of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine with the Thracian University in Stara Zagora, said university rector Assoc. Prof. Dr Dobri Yarkov. It is the first such veterinary hospital in this part of Europe. It will be open on a 24/7 basis and will have clinics covering the full range of veterinary diseases, including parasitic diseases. It will take care of all kinds of animals, including wild and zoo animals.