University of National and World Economy (UNWE), Department Economics of Natural Resources, 1700 Sofia, Bulgaria
Kazakova-Mateva, Y. (2020). Regional uptake of environmentally focused rural development measures in Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 26 (1), 43–52
The public rural development measures that have a direct focus on the environment are Agri-environment and climate, Organic Farming and Natura 2000 compensatory payments measures. Their success and environmental effectiveness depend on the voluntary uptake by farmers. There are numerous studies assessing the factors influencing participation uptake in environmental measures but very few of them are done in the new member states of the European Union. The objective of this paper is to explore the factors that influence the spatial uptake of environmentally focused area-based measures under the Bulgarian Rural Development Programme (RDP) in the period 2014-2020 and whether there is spatial dependence of the uptake at the level of administrative districts (NUTS III level). Spatial statistics methods are applied. The results indicate lack of spatial dependence in the uptake at this administrative level. The most significant factors determining environmental measures uptake are the total sum of RDP environmental support they receive, the area of permanent pastures in the region and the rent price of agricultural land. Availability of labour and human capital is also important factors for the uptake in Bulgaria. The study identifies also between-measures differences of uptake, which deserve further exploration.