Influence of Structural and Income Policies on Size and Product Pattern of Production Units in Bulgarian Agriculture

PLAMEN MISHEV, MARIA TZONEVA, NEDKA IVANOVA and PHILIP KOSTOV

University for National and World Economy, Department of Agribusiness, BG 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract

MISHEV, P., M. TZONEVA, N. IVANOVA and Ph. KOSTOV, 1999. Influence of structural and income policies on size and product pattern of production units in Bulgarian agriculture. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 5:346-352

The aim of the current study is to examine for presence or absence of linkages between the variables characterizing structural and income policy and unemployment rate and emerging structures in agriculture. Structural policy is followed with its main element in agriculture land reform and especially with the pace of different stages of the process of returning the agricultural land. It is a general opinion that a negative but an inevitable result of structural unemployment problem. Due to this an attempt to find out whether the level of unemployment has influenced the agriculture and especially number of emerging production units has been made. Another general believing is that the low income of the population is the reason for existing of small farms providing self-sufficiency at household level. Due to this an attempt to find out the impact of the restrictive income policy on size and production pattern of agricultural production units is carried out.
Results of the analysis show that the land returned have a substantial impact on the size of private farms while land for temporary use is negatively correlated to the size of the private farms.
Areas under technical crops are negatively related to the land return and positively to the temporary used land, in both, private and cooperative sector. So with the land restitution completion when a shift out from the technical crop production [particularly sunflower production] can be expected. This shift may be partly expressed as a technical movement within the market oriented sector, but also the part of the land reallocated may go into subsistence farms and thus via the scale effect to facilitate their switch from subsistence to commercial farming.
Land reform is an important factor for fruit and vegetable production in private farms and unimportant for cooperatives. Regression coefficient for land under vegetable in private farms shows that the possibilities for considerable growth of these areas are limited.
Analysis shows that total income does not affect structure of land use, while real cash income effects negatively private farm size. The increased importance of the subsistence farming is connected with the lower real cash incomes. Positive relation between share of the income in kind in the total income and the land and the average size of private farm has been revealed. Unemployment rate appeared not to be factor having any impact on the size of the private farms or on structure of the crops produced.

Key words: structural policies, income policies, Bulgarian agriculture, size and product pattern, production units, private farms, cooperatives