Assessment of the competitiveness of agricultural holdings in Bulgaria
44 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 15, 2021
Despite its importance and continuing debates, there is still no consensus on what is the competitiveness of farms, how to measure the competitiveness of different organizations in agriculture, what is the absolute and comparative competitiveness of different types of farms, which are the critical factors for increasing the competitiveness at the current stage of development, etc. This study tries to fill the existing gap by applying a holistic approach and assessing the competitiveness of Bulgarian farms as a whole and with different specializations. The multi-criteria assessment found that the level of competitiveness of farms in the country is at a good level, with low adaptive potential and economic efficiency to the greatest extent contributing to lower competitiveness. More than a third of all agricultural holdings have a low level of competitiveness. The most competitive are the farms specialized in beekeeping, followed by field crops, mixed animal husbandry and mixed crops production, and the lowest for farms in grazing livestock. The most significant factors for increasing the competitiveness of Bulgarian farms are market conditions (supply and demand, prices, competition), direct government subsidies, access to knowledge, advice and counseling, participation in government support programs, available information, financial opportunities, and opportunities for benefits in the near future. The proposed approach should be improved and applied more widely and periodically, increasing accuracy and representativeness. The latter requires close cooperation with producer organizations, advisory service and other stakeholders, and improvement of the agricultural information collection system in the country.
Keywords: competitiveness, agricultural holdings, specialization, Bulgaria
JEL Classification: Q12, Q13, Q18, Q17, L11, L14, L16,, D14, D21, D23
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