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Sustainability of agro-ecosystems in Bulgaria

Author

Listed:
  • Bachev, Hrabrin
  • Ivanov, Bodjidar
  • Toteva, Dessislava

Abstract

Ecosystem approach has been increasingly incorporated in the management and evaluation of sustainability levels. Despite huge progress in the theory and practice of this new area, still there is no consensus on how to assess the sustainability of agro-ecosystems due to diverse understandings, approaches, methods, employed data, etc. In Bulgaria there are practically no deep studies on sustainability level of diverse agro-eco-systems. This paper tries to fill the blank and assesses the sustainability level of agro-ecosystems of different type in Bulgaria. First a holistic hierarchical framework for assessing integral, economic, social and ecological sustainability of agro-ecosystems in Bulgaria is suggested including 17 principles, 35 criteria, and 46 indicators and reference values. After that, an assessment is made on overall and aspects sustainability of large (agro)ecosystems in North-Central, South-Eastern, South-Central and South-Western geographic regions, and particular main and specific types of agro-ecosystems of the country - mountainous, plain-mountainous, plain, riparian (Struma, Maritza, Yantra), southern Black Sea, mountainous area with natural constraints, non-mountainous area with natural constraints, protected areas and reserves, Western Thracian Plain, Middle Danube Plain, Dupnitsa and Sandansko-Petrich Valley, Sredna Gora Mountains and Western Rila Mountains. The assessment is based on first-hand information collected though in-depth interviews with the managers of “typical” farms in the respective ago-ecosystems. The study has found out that there is a considerable differentiation in the level of integral sustainability in agricultural ecosystems of different types. Furthermore, there are substantial variations in the levels of economic, social and ecological sustainability of agro-ecosystems of different type, and the critical indicators enhancing or deterring overall and particular sustainability of individual agro-ecosystems. Results of the integral agrarian sustainability level of this study, based on the micro agro-ecosystem (farm) data, are similar to the previous assessment based on the aggregate sectoral (statistical, etc.) data. There are large differences in the impact of socio-economic, institutional, behavioral, international, natural, etc. factors and individual public policy instruments on the sustainability of farming enterprises of different types and agro-ecosystems. Having in mind the importance of holistic assessments of this kind for improving agrarian sustainability, farm management and agrarian policies, they are to be expended and their precision and representation increased.

Suggested Citation

  • Bachev, Hrabrin & Ivanov, Bodjidar & Toteva, Dessislava, 2019. "Sustainability of agro-ecosystems in Bulgaria," MPRA Paper 93320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:93320
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/93320/1/MPRA_paper_93320.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:srs:jemt00:v:8:y:2017:i:5:p:968-994 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bas:econth:y:2018:i:4:p:3-32,33-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hrabrin Bachev, 2011. "Needs, Modes and Efficiency of Economic Organizations and Public Interventions in Agriculture," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 1, pages 89-103, June.
    4. repec:srs:journl:jemt:v:9:y:2018:i:3:p:452-478 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:srs:jarle0:v:7:y:2016:i:4:p:797-816 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:srs:journl:jarle:v:7:y:2016:i:4:p:797-816 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:srs:jemt00:v:9:y:2018:i:3:p:452-478 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agro-ecosystem; sustainability; assessment; economic; social; ecological; Bulgaria agro-ecosystem; sustainability; assessment; economic; social; ecological; Bulgaria;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation

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