Bulgaria Newsflash Week 14

Bulgaria is in the Top 3 of EU countries with the most subsidies going to large beneficiaries; the appreciation of farm land in Bulgaria will persist into the coming years; agricultural companies and farmers increase savings; the best Bulgarian wines and the oldest Bulgarian beer.

bank savings

Bulgaria is among the EU countries with the most subsidies going to large beneficiaries

In the financial 2019, 44% of direct farming subsidies in Bulgaria went to farmers who received over EUR 100,000 in assistance and these beneficiaries accounted for a mere 3% of all farmers, Capital weekly reported. This places Bulgaria third among the EU member states in terms of distribution of the most subsidies to large recipients, trailing only the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The figures are taken from a European Commission report on the distribution of over EUR 41 billion a year for key direct payments, which make up some 79% of all farming subsidies in Europe. Large beneficiaries absorbed 16% on average of the per-area and green direct payments. A report on the 50 biggest recipients of farming subsidies by member states (for all programmes and measures) prepared at the request of the budget control committee of the European Parliament shows that Bulgaria is among the countries with the most single companies with grants.


The price of land in Bulgaria appreciates by 5-10% per year

The appreciation of farm land in Bulgaria will persist into the coming years. The agricultural sector will remain stable with an average price growth of 5-10% for each of the coming years, according to a forecast by the Bulgarian Association of Farm Land Owners. Association statistics shows that the price of farm land went up by 10% last year in the southern regions of Stara Zagora, Sliven, Yambol and Bourgas. It is the annual rate of appreciation of farm land in Bulgaria’s Southeast in recent years and during a crisis it is not unusual even for people outside the agricultural sector to invest in land, explains Association President Stayko Staykov. In eastern Bulgaria and Dobroudja in the Northeast, prices have remained unchanged or even went down a little.

Agricultural companies and farmers increase savings

The money that farmers and agricultural companies hold in banks increased by BGN 145,426,000 in the crisis-hit 2020, according to Bulgarian National Bank figures. As of the end of 2019, the money in banks from the agricultural sector totaled BGN 1,144,522,000 in 23,266 deposits. A year later, the deposits had increased to 24.140 and the money in them to BGN 1,289,948,000, Agrozona reported. Bank loans to the agriculture sector increased by BGN 100 million over a year. At the end of 2020, the loans numbered 12,978 for a total of BGN 2,392,838,000.

wine and vine

What are the best Bulgarian wines?

Red Church Estate Selection Individuelle 2018, Midalidare Estate Grand Vintage Malbec 2018 and Edoardo Miroglio Brut Blanc de Blancs Metodo Classico 2015 are the best three Bulgarian wines, according to the 10-year rating of DiVino. The list of 50 wines proves that Bulgarian whites and pinks are getting ever better, which has been a trend for the past 3-4 years. For the first time, there are as many as 18 wines in the Top 50 that are not reds! Twelve of them are whites, one is sparkling and five are pinks. For comparison, the Top 50 had 13 non-red wines in 2017 and 15 in 2018.

A bartender taps beer.
Beeld: ©Marcelo Ikeda Tchelão

The oldest Bulgarian beer turns 140

 The oldest Bulgarian beer, Kamenitsa, turns 140 this year, Agronovinite reports. In 1881, three Swiss entrepreneurs opened the first industrial brewery in the southern Bulgarian town of Plovdiv. Today the brewery making the Kamenitza beer is Kamenitza AD, which has been property of the American-Canadian Molson Coors since 2012. Bulgaria ranks 10th in the EU with a per-capita beer consumption of 75 l, according to 2019 statistics by the Brewers of Europe. 70% of Bulgarians over the age of 18 drink beer at least once a month and 52% drink beer once a week or more often.