PRODUCT AND MARKET ORIENTATION OF HORTICULTURAL FARMS IN BULGARIA DURING THE YEARS LEADING TO EU ACCESSION – STUDIES IN THE PLOVDIV REGION
2008, 9 (1) p. 117-124
Agriculture/horticulture has traditionally been an important sector in the economy of Bulgaria. The paper outlines the structural changes in Bulgarian agriculture since 1989 and discusses the product and market orientation of the horticultural farms in the Plovdiv region of Bulgaria. This paper analyses how farm owners / managers with different sized farms evaluated 5 product/market strategic options: ‘doing what you currently do but better’, ‘developing new horticultural products’, ‘developing new markets’, ‘developing new agricultural activities’ and ‘developing new nonagricultural activities’. The owners / managers identifi ed; whether they perceived these options as feasible for their future development, the encouraging/discouraging factors and the outcomes they expected from their implementation. The small-scale farms (less than 2 ha) were mainly subsistence farms that were relying upon the farmer’s experience to survive during the transition period. The second type of farm (2-10 ha) was ‘transitional’ farms and were working under pressure either for survival or expansion under the new EU related conditions. The third type of farm (over 10 ha) was more business orientated, aiming at business viability and trying to respond to the rapidly changing business environment in Bulgaria as they recognised that the EU accession would present new challenges and opportunities for the successful future development of their farm businesses.