Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Assessment of the competitiveness of agricultural holdings in Bulgaria

Bachev, Hrabrin (2021): Assessment of the competitiveness of agricultural holdings in Bulgaria.

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The problem of determining the competitiveness of various economic organizations is among the most topical academic and practical issues from the emergence of economics science to the present day. It is particularly important for the agricultural sector, which is characterized by many participants, high specialization and exchange, strong competition at local, national and international level, highly integrated food and supply chains, market segmentation, unequal public support, strong state regulation, processing and trade and professional organizations, strong consumer pressure for quality, eco-behavior, etc., presence of underdeveloped and non-competitive "markets", etc. Nevertheless, despite its importance and continouing 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 paper 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 specialised in the beekeeping, followed by field crops, mixed animal husbandry and mixed crops production, and the lowest for farms in grazing livestock. 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. 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.

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