Bulgaria - POLICY ASPECTS
Permanent pastures in Bulgaria
Two themes of importance to HNV farming in Bulgaria are the difficulty in getting CAP payments for semi-natural pastures, due to the permanent pasture rules and their interpretation nationally, and the significance of communal and common pastures and their regulation both in terms of semi-natural pasture and for the most extensive and poorest farmers. You can read more about the former topic in the permanent pasture country report for Bulgaria, produced in the context of our wider work on permanent pastures. The common pastures are the subject of ongoing work, but an introduction to the subject was given at the 2011 IASC conference in Plovdiv.
Policy advocacy in Bulgaria in the framework of ESSEDRA project
ESSEDRA project targets accession and candidate countries from South-Eastern Europe such as Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey but also works in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. EFNCP’s role in the project is to provide policy advocacy capacity building and training for non-member state countries. However, some of the issues about policy support for small-scale farmers, agri-environmental measures, short-supply chains and advisory services to small farmers are also relevant for Bulgaria and EFNCP contributed to the policy discussions in the respective working groups.
Furthermore, EFNCP-Bulgaria facilitated the contacts between our ESSEDRA partner – Slow Food-Bulgaria and the responsible staff in the Ministry of Agriculture on Small farmers sub-programme in the Rural Development Programmes 2014-2020; and on the Agri-environmental sub-measure of local crop varieties, including discussion on the national list of endangered local crop varieties and their potential for support under the sub-measure.
Identification of lessons learnt and developing recommendations for CAP-post 2013 based on BSPB experience with HNV grasslands support
The Besaparski Hills have a good mixture of well-preserved nature and traditional agricultural practices. It is characterised by a mosaic landscape of arable land, permanent crops and pastures and meadows. The Besaparski Hills are very important for the conservation of birds and vascular plants and are an Important Birds Area and a proposed Important Plant Area. The Besaparski Hills are officially designated as Specially Protected Area (SPA) under the Birds Directive (Code BG 0002057) with a total area of 14,765 ha. It is also a proposed Site of Community Interest (pSCI) under the Habitats Directive (code BG 0000254) which covers 6,743 ha.
In 2012, EFNCP Bulgaria worked on identification of lessons learnt from the BSPB ending project aiming to produce recommendations for national level policy making for CAP-post 2013. The report looks at the region’s characteristics in terms of farming systems and biodiversity values and then examines the relevance and sufficiency of policy support schemes (current and post-2013).
The recommendations are grouped around five key aspects: public policy development; information and consultation for farmers; implementation approaches; cooperation at all levels and actors as well as promotion and marketing of local products and livelihoods.
Partnering with the National Association of Small Family Farms and Processors on CAP Pillar I schemes and Pillar II measures
The National Association of Small Family Farms and Processors in Bulgaria was registered in 2014 as a response to the huge discrepancies between the farming reality and agriculture policy documents and aims to narrow the gap. Sharing common ideas we work together to represent the perspective and needs of small farmers at national policy development working groups such as the Pillar I working group and the short-supply chains ad-hoc working groups.
Pillar I working group was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and operated during summer 2014. EFNCP contributed to the policy response of the Association of Small Family Farms and Processors to the questionnaire drafted by the ministry. We insisted for the introduction of Pillar I support for small farmers as well as for a national definition for permanent pastures both of which are important for small farmers. Pillar I support for small farmers is to be introduced but the results for the permanent pastures definition are still not clear.