Bulgaria Newsflash Week 16

How does the Bulgarian agriculture look like from outside; how is the sowing campaign for maize, sunflower and barley going; what kind of state aid get livestock selection and the honeydew honey from Strandja region: answers of these questions in this Agri News Week.


A look at Bulgarian agriculture from the outside

In 37 pages, the European Commission (EC) assesses Bulgarian agriculture and makes recommendations for the strategic plan and the new CAP. It is part of the EC recommendations for the 27 EU member states about the direction which the CAP strategic plans should take in the fulfillment of the goals, so as to contribute to attaining the Green Deal objectives.

The takeaways for Bulgaria:
+ The Commission recognizes as a positive trend the growing size of farms, the increased specialization and concentration of production, and the improved market orientation.
- The agricultural sector remains dominated by micro- and small farms with low incomes (especially in the sectors of milk and dairy products, meat, fruit and vegetables) and a small number of large farms with higher income level (mostly in the grains sector).
See full text.

Slow sowing campaign for maize, sunflower and barley

The wet spring has held back the sowing of spring crops and this is seen in agri-statistics in early April, AgroPLovdiv reports. In early April, land under oil-bearing sunflower is only 15,049 ha, down from 47,737 this time last year. Last year sunflower plantations totaled slightly over 800,000 ha and if this area is preserved in 2021, it would mean that less than 2% was sown as of April 1. The situation is even worse for maize fields as maize is sown later than sunflower: only 189 ha have been sown against 12,825 ha this time last year. In 2020, maize fields totaled 573,461 ha. Spring barley, which is normally sown in February-March, has been sown on 478 ha, down from 901 ha this time last year.


State aid for pedigree book and livestock selection

By May 5, 2021, State Fund Agriculture accepts applications for subsidies under a scheme for creating and keeping pedigree books and for determining the productivity and genetic qualities of livestock. The aid is designed for registered farmers in livestock breeding. Applications can be submitted by organizations breeding cattle, sheep and goat, pigs, poultry, horses, rabbits, bees and dogs. The total budget is BGN 7.5 million as the subsidy will cover up to 100% of the administrative costs for creating and keeping a pedigree book and up to 70% of the costs for tests for determining the genetic qualities or productivity.

honeydew honey

State supports producers of Strandja honeydew honey

State Fund Agriculture has decided that producers of honeydew honey from the southern Strandja region will receive state support, Bulgarian National Radio reported. This honey is one of very few Bulgarian foods with protected appellation of origin, which is entered in the EU register of protected foods, and the aim is to preserve traditions and livelihood in the region. Each producer will receive BGN 1,800 to cover their cost for control, including the mandatory annual checkup and lab analysis of the honey. The state aid aims to support existing producers of this unique honey and attract more people to its production. Strandja is part of the EU-wide network of protected areas Natura 2000. Bee keeping has long traditions there and a proof of that are the existing skep and log beehives dating back to the 19th century. The Strandja honeydew honey is made from the honeydew which some inspects produce and is then collected by the bees, and by the sweet sap of the acorns.