Availability of Organic Products on the Rise in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has a small, but rapidly growing organic sector. The acreage that has been transformed or is in the process of restructuring for organic farming has tripled in two years, reaching 161,000 hectares in 2016.
Meanwhile, the number of organic farmers has almost doubled to 7,000 over the same period. The interest in organic farming is mainly due to subsidies and priority investments.
Another important factor behind this growth is the rising demand for organic fruit and vegetables in the European Union, which is the second largest organic market in the world after the United States. There are increasingly more examples of organic niche production focused entirely on foreign markets, according to an analysis by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture Information Service.
The Bulgarian organic market still has an insignificant share of the total (2-3% market share). That is why the country can be seen as a potential reference destination for investment, according to the Dutch agency.
Moreover, Bulgaria is already implementing good production practices and has well developed markets for conventional fruit and vegetables, not only for fresh produce, but especially for the processing industry.
Fruits and nuts account for the largest share of the organic acreage, with 26,000 hectares. The most common products are walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, plums, cherries, raspberries and blackberries.
Despite the thriving number of bio-farms in Bulgaria, these have a relatively low survival rate. Every fifth producer abandons the market every year.
This, according to the assessment from the Dutch agency, shows some lack of knowledge and understanding of both the technology and the economic characteristics of organic production.
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