Bulgarian Agriculture and the Concept of Sustainable Development

V. HADJIEVA
Institute of Agroeconomy, BG-1605 Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract

HADJIEVA, V., 2002. Bulgarian agriculture and the concept of sustainable development. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 8: 449–455

Based on the understanding that sustainable agriculture is economically efficient, environmentally safe and socially reliable, the article offers an analysis of the development of Bulgarian agriculture during the recent eleven years (1990–2000) in terms of sustainability. To this end, about 40 indicators were investigated – economic, environmental and social.
The multilateral analysis of this industry shows that it is in an overall crisis and does not comply with the requirements of sustainable development. Intensive production is gradually replaced by extensive methods, however, not as an alternative aiming at higher sustainability but out of economic necessity. The result – double reduction of productivity, deteriorated environmental characteristics of natural resources and production and incomes in 2000 that are 65% of those in 1990, twice lower than urban population incomes, which makes this industry unattractive from social point of view.
At the same time, reality has changed strongly and pushes agriculture towards sustainable development. The onset of Bulgarian agriculture to success calls for urgent investments, flexible agrarian policy, markets, entrepreneurship and knowledge.

Key words: sustainable development, agriculture, environmental safety