Number of Farms in Bulgaria Drops by Two-Thirds in 3 Years
The number of farms in Bulgaria has marked a 2/3 decline, the Agrostatistics department at the Ministry of Agriculture reports using current data.
As of 2013, there were 252 900 farms compared to 665 500 ten years ago, Farmer.bg reports.
In just three years, a 32% decline in the number of farms was registered, but there is a positive trend in the usage of land suitable for agriculture, which is a proof of the consolidation of farms.
These lands have had a 3% increase between 2010 and 2013, with the mean area having increased by 50 %, reaching 152 decares of land suitable for agriculture.
Another interesting trend is the decrease in the number of small farms up to 100 decares.
In the period between 2010 to 2013 their numbers have declined by 34%, and their used suitable land has also decreased by 17%.
At the same time there is a 3% increase of farms with a suitable land of more than 100 decares.
Statistics show these farms made up 34 531 500 decares of the suitable land last year.
Among them only 45 of farms (against a total of 8600) governed 85% of the suitable land in the country, a little more than 37 million decares.
The big question is if, after the introduction of an additional payment for farms up to 300 decares, we won't be witnesses of splitting of the agricultural lands, the National Association of Grain Producers warns.
Its Deputy CEO Angel Vukodinov was quoted by website Money.bg as saying that, as of the 9th of June when the end of the declaration of agricultural areas for 2014 ended, the deposited applications for subsidies were with 16 000 more than last year and this increase is due to the redistributionary payments.
He reminded that the percentage of the redistributionary payment is limited and the more farmers become candidates, the smaller the subsidies will be, because the budget is split among more people.
People in the industry have warned for a long time that a principle should be set for granting the additional help for small farms. They are determined to further demand that the subsidies be only granted to active farmers.