Strategy to strengthen the role of the agricultural sector in the bioeconomy

Title: Strategy to strengthen the role of the agricultural sector in the bioeconomy developed by the Agricultural Academy in Bulgaria

Funding source: The strategy was developed by a working group determined by the Order of the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in 2018-2019, and subsequently in 2020 it was adapted and issued by Agricultural academy, being approved by the Minister.

Country: Bulgaria


Three objectives are formulated in the strategy:

  • Sustainable management and development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries for sustainable production and provision of renewable resources,
  • Full use and development of research activities, partnerships for exchange and transfer of innovations, infrastructure for experimentation, and
  • Improvement of knowledge and skills.

The agricultural sector (agriculture, forestry, fisheries) and the food industry participate in the bioeconomy with all their activities, and the furniture, textile, pharmaceutical, chemical, construction and energy industries - with the activity related to biomass processing and obtaining bio-based products. The agricultural sector contributes with just over 50 % of gross value added (GVA) and employment in the country's bioeconomy.

For the sustainable development of the agricultural sector and the provision of biomass for the sectors related to that production, it is necessary to introduce mechanisms to optimize the production structure. It is also necessary to adapt the regulatory framework related to the bioeconomy and the circular economy. The investments for processing and utilization of waste products in the three branches of the agricultural sector is a primary task in the development of the bioeconomy. It is related to the digitization of the sector and the introduction of precision agriculture, to the implementation of a new business model in the forest sector, including the construction of installations and biorefineries for the processing of forest wood biomass and non-wood products, to the introduction of technologies in fisheries to use the unwanted catch of fish and dealing with pollution in the sea and inland waters.

The adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change and the protection of the environment have a priority place in scientific research programs. Related to the bioeconomy it is necessary to observe the growth of biomass production per unit area, in view of the growing needs for biomass in a global scale. A new direction in research activity is the development of technologies for obtaining bio-based, recyclable and degradable products, as well as standards for their use.

An Action Plan has also been developed, in which the activities, expected results, responsible institutions and funding sources for the achievement of each strategic goal are defined.