Bulgaria Newsflash Week 21

How did the pandemic affect the Bulgarian vegetable market? What is the balance of the food import-export of Bulgaria? Do you know how many Bulgaria’s farm are run by women? What‘s new in the Bulgaria’s rose oil season? Read the answers in Bulgaria Agri News Week 21, 2021!


Pandemic makes Bulgaria more dependent on vegetable imports

Bulgarian farmers harvested 15,000 t less of tomatoes in 2020 compared to a year earlier, according to estimates of the Centre for Agri-Policy Analyses (CAPA). The total 2020 output is estimated at some 130,000 t, down from 145,000 t in 2019. The harvest of greenhouse tomatoes was 53,000 t, increasing by 8% from 2019. The cucumber harvest was just over 2,000 t more than in 2019, reaching 70,000 t. The production of peppers is estimated at 62,000 t in 2020. CAPA does not expect tangible changes in the production of key vegetables this year. Logistical and market hurdles make Bulgaria increasingly dependent on imports.

Betty from The Wild Farm in Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

30% of Bulgarian farms are run by women

Women ran 28% of all farms in Bulgaria in 2020 and that share increased by 5% over a period of ten years, according to the results of a farm census reported by Agrozona news magazine. Male farm managers totalled 95,400 against 37,000 women managers. The work volume is therefore larger for men than for women: 56,700 and 20,100 annual work units, respectively. Family farm workers and permanently employed farm workers totalled 292,000. An increasing share of farm managers are young people and 2020 saw a growing number of those aged between 25 and 54. See graph. And while the number of farms in Bulgaria decreases, the total arable area across the country increases.

Bulgaria exports farm produce, imports processed foods and products

Traditionally, Bulgaria has a surplus in its trade in farm produce and foods, making the agriculture sector a net source of hard currency in the country's balance of payments. Bulgaria's admission to the EU boosted trade; not only in the agriculture and food sector but across the economy, according to an analysis by Associate Professor Bozhidar Ivanov of the Institute of Market Economics that is reported by Agrozona news magazine. The structure of agricultural export is dominated by unprocessed products and farm produce, and they make up some 60% of the export of farm produce and foods. The import of unprocessed products is some 45% of the entire agricultural import. The bulk of the gross agricultural production (some 65%) goes for export, which is due to imbalances in the production with a surplus for some crops and a shortage for others.

Special customs code to protect Bulgarian rose oil

A special customs code will protect Bulgarian rose oil against fakes and unfair competition, said Gergana Andreeva, Executive Director of the Bulgarian National Association for Essential Oils, Perfumery and Cosmetics, quoted by Agri. Due to be put in use very soon, the code can also help find out when Bulgarian rose oil is mixed with rose oil originating in other countries. The Bulgarian law bans the export of planting stock of the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose and treats it as a crop of national significance but illegal exporters have found ways to bypass the ban via other EU countries. The most expensive designer perfumes use Bulgarian rose oil because it offers the best proportion of ingredients, which is essential for luxury cosmetics.