Bulgaria Newsflash Week 15

Sunflower fields predicted to remain unchanged from last year; 20% decline in herb export; what’s new in new ordinance on use of surface water; state support for protein crops: read Bulgaria’s latest agri news:


Sunflower fields in Bulgaria unchanged from last year

The expectations are that fields sowed with the maize and sunflower in Bulgaria this year will be the unchanged in size from last year. According to projections by the Centre for Agri-policy Analysis (CAPA), sunflower and maize plantations will be 2,000 to 3,000 ha smaller than in 2020. They expect that fields under maize will total 540,000 ha, down from 573,842 ha last season. Sunflower fields have increased by 15-18% in the past two –three years. CEPA expects that 0.78 ha will be put under sunflower, slightly down from 0.809 million ha last spring.
The early projections for the average wheat yield are around 4.9 t/ha. The total production is estimated at 5.8 million t, which will be 15% more than in 2020. The early estimates for barley are for 4.6 t/ha and no more than 5 million t, which is very close to last year’s results. The high prices of all grains and oil-bearing crops are expected to stop rising further. They have already gained 22% and as much as 46% for sunflower. Now they are expected to start following the downward trend in the coming months but any decrease won’t be dramatic as prices will be kept up by the likely high growth of the world economy.


Bulgaria sees 20% decline in herb export

In 2020, the export of Bulgarian herbs came down by 20% to less than 9,000 t, according to the Bulgarian Association of Herbalists. Still, Bulgaria continues to export to over 50 countries, Balgarski Fermer weekly reports. Herb harvesting has decreased in recent years and that is confirmed by Environment Ministry statistics. The reports on the use of medicinal plants in 2020 across Bulgaria in keeping with the special protection regime, show that the harvested quantities are much below the maximum permissible levels. The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is not the only factor: it has been a trend for the past years, Ministry sources said. Another factor is the shortage of labour and the heightened quality standards. In the recent years, the herbs that are harvested in Bulgaria and exported, have a higher added value and 95% of them are in processed form. According to figures of the Association, 80% of the Bulgarian herbs go for export. The key markets are Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, the US and countries in South America and Asia.


New ordinance on use of surface water

A new ordinance on the use of surface water published in the State Gazette regulates the issue of use permits. It described in detail the documents that are required and the requirements for the content of the admissibility opinions issued by the directors of the basin directorates for investment proposals. The new ordinance also sets out the terms for some types of water withdrawal and use, or the ban thereof.


Over BGN 32 mln paid to producers of protein crops

State Fund Agriculture has paid BGN 32,597,628 million leva in coupled subsidies for protein crops in the 2020 campaign, said the Agriculture and Foods Ministry. The subsidies reached 16,081 producers of beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, peanuts, soybean, lupine, fava bean, alfalfa sainfoin, common vetch, clover, vigna, trefoil or mixtures thereof. The subsidy in the 2020 campaign was increased by 20.7% to BGN 259.22/ha against BGN 214,77/ha in 2019.