ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN BULGARIA 1 ST MEETING Rousse 18-21 May 2008 PhD student Polina Lyubenova Atanasova “A. Kunchev,” University of Rousse . INTRODUCTION
ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IN BULGARIA1ST MEETING Rousse 18-21 May 2008PhD studentPolina Lyubenova Atanasova“A. Kunchev,” University of Rousse
Organic agriculture (OA) was introduced to Bulgaria in 1990, when agricultural land was put into small plots and distributed among the population after the fall of the communism. The EU as well as the government of Bulgaria encourage the transition to organic farming and subsidise organic farmers and food producers.
The current policy and strategy of the government and non-government institutions in Bulgaria determine the corresponding laws and normative base, infrastructure for OA development.
All these special issues have been considered in order to make a national plan of the developing OA in Bulgaria during the period from 2006–2013.
There are being analyzed some preconditions for successful development of organic production in the country the more important of which are:
An open chance for stable development in the rural areas in Bulgaria, preventing the process of land abandonment, during the last 7–8 years have not been located new pollutions, the problem concerning soil erosion, applying programs and politics of the EU, the structural funds after our country joined the EU are give the OA production a chance to develop, the biologic agriculture leads to stabilizing the incomes of the agricultural farmers by incoming new, advanced markets of high-quality and healthful food products, which means less unemployment.
Both regulations require independent bodies approved by the Minister of Agriculture to conduct an initial certification process and regular inspections to guarantee that all principles laid out in applicable ordinances are being followed at farms and processing facilities.
If a producer has been properly certified, his/her products may carry the national organic label shown in Figure 1.
Most organic farms in Bulgaria are very small and run less than one hectare. According to the data disposed in department „Agro-ecology“ at Ministry of Agriculture and Food during 2003 the area covering with organic production are amounted to 8 364 ha. The information of controls agency indicate, that to an end 2004 the total area – in the time of transition and after the period of transition, totals up to 12 284, 14 ha, which makes up 0, 21% from the total agricultural land.
The certificates areas are 11 771, 47 ha (0, 20%), the areas in transition period are 512, 67 ha (0,008%).
According statistical information the organic production in Bulgaria for 2006 year cover only just 0, 23 % of the total agricultural area.
For April 2008 year number of certificated organic farms, manufacturing and traders are 432. The total organic agricultural landis 166 741 ha.
In addition, large areas of wild land have been certified as organic to collect wild fruits, herbs and mushrooms. It is assumed that currently about 60 per cent of raw materials come from wild collection.