Bozhura Fidanska, PhD from the Institute of Agricultural Economics, an active member of the Bulgarian NEWBIE Steering group, took part in a National Scientific conference “Role of the family business for sustainable development” organized by Agrarian University Plovdiv and Foundation Land- source of income in March 2020.
In the presentation “NEW BUSINESS MODELS – WAY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL FARMS” a relatively new topic on the introduction and use of new business models in starting up a farming business, which is the main path preferred by EU rural development policy, is examined and explored. The purpose is to identify and propose business models that will contribute to the optimal use of resources, enhancing the economic level of small farms.
The NEWBIE case studies highlight three issues. On the one hand, the majority of new entrants completely change the concept of agricultural business development, such as integrating new technologies and practices, changing crops and animals, and diversifying the services offered. Second, two third of the respondents have received support for starting a new business in agriculture. And finally, three quarters of the responding farmers own some (or all) of the arable land. About half of them rent land in the long term (> 5 years) and more than one third in the short term (<5 years).
The advantages of small farms, their needs and the difficulties they face for starting a family business are outlined. Main obstacles and challenges identified for new entrants in Bulgaria are access to land, access to workforce, access to markets, access to capital and access to knowledge and networking.
The results of the study strongly indicate that small farms need to be transformed through greater market integration, higher production efficiency (new technologies and the introduction of digital services), the integration of economic alternative economic activities, including the addition of value to local products and more.
For more information on this topic (in Bulgarian), click here.