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State, development and efficiency of digitalization in Bulgarian agriculture

Bachev, Hrabrin (2020): State, development and efficiency of digitalization in Bulgarian agriculture.

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Abstract

Despite its big theoretical and practical importance in Bulgaria there are no comprehensive analysis of the state and evolution of digitalization in agriculture and rural areas. The goal of this study is to analyze the state, development and efficiency of digitalization in the agrarian sphere in Bulgaria, specify major trends in that area, compare the situation with other EU countries, identify main problems, and make recommendation for improving policies in the next programing period. Analysis has found out that in recent years there is considerable improvement of the access of Bulgarian households to internet as well as a significant increase in the persons using internet for relations with public institutions and trading goods and services. Nevertheless, Bulgaria is quite behind from other EU members in regards to introduction of digital technologies in the economy and society taking one of the last places in EU in terms of Integral Index for Introduction of Digital Technologies in the Economy and Society – DESI. There is a great variation on the extent of digitalization in different subsectors of agriculture, farms of different juridical type and size, and different regions of the country. Most agricultural holdings are not aware with the content of digital agriculture as 14% apply modern digital technologies. Major obstacles for introduction of digital technologies are qualification of employees, amount of required investment, unclear economic benefits, and data security. Main areas where state administration actions are required are: support of measures for supplementary training of labor, tax preferences in planning of actions and digitalization of activity, stimulation of young specialists, introduction of internationally recognized processes of standardization and certification, adaptation of legislation in the area of data protection, and securing reliable and high speed networks.

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