Historical review of the development of Bulgarian livestock production

Dobry Yarkov, Konstantin Stankov and Ivan Stankov
Trakia University, Veterinary Faculty, Department General Livestock Breeding 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Abstract

Yarkov, D., Stankov, K. & Stankov, I. (2022). Historical review of the development of Bulgarian livestock production. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 28 (4), 564–578

This scientific review provides information about the state and development of livestock production on our lands from antiquity to the present day. The analysis shows that long before the founding of the Bulgarian state and at all stages of its millennial history, livestock farming was a well-developed and leading agricultural activity. It has provided sustenance and livelihood to many generations of Bulgarians. It has laid the foundations for the first crafts and industrial production in Bulgaria. It has occupied a significant part of the foreign trade of our ancestors. For the successful development of livestock farming, Bulgaria has vast natural resources for the rearing of large and small ruminants and equidae. Arable land provides very good opportunities to feed a significantly higher number of non-ruminants.
The historical enquiry also shows that during all stages of the development of our country, the natural resources and arable land available were used to a significant extent and that Bulgaria was among the leaders in Europe for the number of raised animals per square unit, and worldwide in terms of small ruminant breeding.
During the years of the transition from planning to market economy, the number of animals in Bulgaria has been reduced to the maximum extent and has reached sizes previously unknown to Bulgaria. Bulgaria currently takes the last place in the European Union for the number of livestock units per hectare of managed areas. Bulgaria has lost traditionally important foreign livestock markets.
All this requires a thorough and objective analysis of the state of Bulgarian livestock production and the adoption of a National Program for its restoration and successful development under the conditions of market economy.

Keywords: history; livestock production; milk; meat; eggs, honey; consumption; economy

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