The Use of Irrigation Water During Transition in Bulgaria's Plodiv Region

Sustainable Agriculture in Central and Eastern European Countries, Discussion Paper No. 7/2000

20 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2003

See all articles by Ivan Penov

Ivan Penov

University of Agriculture - Plodiv - Agricultural Economics

Abstract

The amount of water used for irrigation has sharply declined during transition in Bulgaria. Large sections of existing irrigation systems were abandoned, and the ones still in use are barely maintained. Crops such as wheat and barley have replaced more water-intensive crops, including vegetables, rice and maize. This problem has an impact on the future development of agriculture and the allocation of the country's water resources. The central argument is that land fragmentation in the wake of de-collectivization and restitution contributes to the irrigation systems' abandonment. This paper concentrates on the institutional factors, but also considers additional factors, that may have influenced the process; further, it examines the causes driving these changes and analyses their effect on irrigation. It is based upon a review of relevant legislation, as well as field work in 17 villages located in the Plovdiv region of Bulgaria. The paper concludes that, in addition to changes in large-scale market forces and weakening of the state enforcement mechanism, institutional settings have contributed to the decline of irrigation in Bulgaria.

Keywords: Irrigation, Bulgaria/Plovdiv, development of agriculture and the allocation of the country's water resources, land abandoment

JEL Classification: N5, P32, Q15, Q16, Q25

Suggested Citation

Penov, Ivan, The Use of Irrigation Water During Transition in Bulgaria's Plodiv Region. Sustainable Agriculture in Central and Eastern European Countries, Discussion Paper No. 7/2000, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=382244 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.382244

Ivan Penov (Contact Author)

University of Agriculture - Plodiv - Agricultural Economics ( email )

Mendeleev 12
Plodiv 4000
Bulgaria
+359 32 6126 (Phone)
+359 32 633 157 (Fax)

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