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Agricultural Economics and Management Journal   ISSN 0205-3845
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Assessment of the competitiveness of agricultural holdings with organic production (according to data from a survey)
Diliana Mitova
Abstract: The issue of determining and increasing the level of competitiveness of organic agricultural holdings is one of the current academic and practical issues both in the EU and in Bulgaria. How to determine and measure the competitiveness of organic farms, what are the decisive factors and guidelines for increasing their competitiveness at the modern stage of development - despite the discussions, these problems are still on the agenda now. Both the EU and Bulgaria promote the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices such as nutrient management plans, soil improvement, precision farming, organic farming, use of legumes in crop rotation schemes, as well as substitution where possible, of mineral fertilizers with organic fertilizers. In 2023, the EC is also expected to adopt an action plan for integrated nutrient management. Organic farming (OF) favors nature and society as a production system that contributes to the reduction of air, soil and water pollution; to increase biodiversity, strengthen the sustainability of agriculture, to ensure healthy food and clean nature for current and future generations, and as such it organically fits into the requirements of the new CAP.
The purpose of the study is to identify and analyze the state, level and factors determining the competitiveness of OF through the analysis of information from a survey of organic farms. The complex influence of various factors determining the development of the sector and the competitive advantages of farms are reported, the main problems and challenges facing it are identified, as well as the prospects for its development. This could provide guidance for its development as a component and instrument of state agricultural policy in terms of sustainable management of natural resources, compliance with high standards of food quality and safety and animal welfare, as well as for the development of viable rural areas. The methodology uses a mixed approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods – literature review, comparative, institutional and multicriteria analysis, grouping method, value-metric and qualitative analysis, survey and expert evaluation method.
This material presents the results of an empirical research-survey on the competitiveness of agricultural holdings, including organic farms. Survey information is from the summer of 2020, provided with the assistance of National Agricultural Advice Service, by farm managers of different production specialization, type and geographic location. The sample is not representative, but provides information for analyses and formulation of conclusion. The main behavioral, economic, institutional, and natural factors that influence the competitiveness of farms in organic agriculture have been identified. The intentions of the agricultural producers in OF related to the further development of organic production in the near future have also been determined. Based on the conducted survey, it can be concluded that farms with organic production in the medium term have good competitiveness and the prospects for its future development are promising. This study represents only part of the big picture of the level of competitiveness of organic agriculture in our country. The factors, conditions, problems and challenges facing organic farms are complex and require further in-depth and multidisciplinary research, because the competitiveness of organic production includes both economic, social and environmental aspects, as well as production and consumption aspects.
Keywords: competitiveness; organic farming; organic farms; prospect
DOI: https://doi.org/10.61308/AYNE4256
Date published: 2023-09-29
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