About the Governance of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System in Bulgaria

By Hrabrin Bachev

Institute of Agricultural Economics, Bulgaria.


Unlike in many other countries, in Bulgaria, there is no comprehensive analysis of the governance, state, efficiency and evolution of the system of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS). This chapter presents the results of a large-scale study on the governance, efficiency, and development of AKIS in Bulgaria. The Governance of AKIS includes diverse governing agents, and the variety of rules, mechanisms and modes for agents, and the process of governing, and the outcome (specific order and efficiency) of the governance.

First, participants in the country’s AKIS and the type of their relations are specified. Second, a diagnosis of the state and trends in AR&D is made. Third, the governance of agrarian research in Bulgaria is unpacked. Forth, the state of the system of education and training of agricultural producers in the country is analyzed. Fifth, the governance of the system of advice and consultations in agriculture is assessed. Six, results of an expert assessment on the governance of AKIS in Bulgaria are presented. Finally, the results of SWOT analysis and presented, and development strategy and intervention needs for AKIS for the next programming period are specified.

Modern scientific approaches of Comparative Data and Institutional Analysis, Gap Analysis, SWOT, Strategic Orientation, Experts Assessments, etc. are used to identify actors and relations, state and trends in development, assess Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, formulate adequate strategy, and specify overall and public intervention needs of AKIS in the country. The study is based on available data from statistical sources, official reports, fields surveys as well as assessments of a panel of leading experts in the area and stakeholders’ representatives.

The study has found out that AKIS of the country consists of diverse and numerous organizations, for which activities and complex relations have no sufficient official or other reliable information. In the years of EU membership, the expenditures for ARD significantly decreased absolutely and relatively as a share in the total expenditures for R&D, which indicates diminishing importance and deteriorating financial, personnel, and material potential of the agrarian knowledge and innovation sector. Bulgarian AKIS demonstrates low resource endowment and efficiency, domination of outdated public institutions and undeveloped private sector, insufficient sharing of knowledge and innovations, slow and uneven application of modern technologies, varieties, production and management methods, digitalization, etc. in different types of farms, subsectors of agriculture and regions of the country.

The lack of full data only partially can be compensated by experts’ assessments and it is necessary to carry out in-depth and representative surveys of individual components and the AKIS as a whole. Furthermore, it is necessary to institutionalize and regulate the collection of official statistics, reports, etc. information for the state and efficiency of that important system.



1. The governance of AKIS in Bulgaria

2. Diagnosis of the state and trends in AR&D

3. The governance of agrarian research in Bulgaria

4. System of education and training of agricultural producers

5. Governance of the system of advices and consultations in agriculture

6. Expert assessment on governance of AKIS in Bulgaria

7. SWOT analysis, development strategy and intervention needs

8. Conclusion


About Author

Ph.D in Economics, Agricultural Academy, Sofia. M.Sc in Agricultural and Industrial Economics, University of Economics, Sofia. Researcher and teaching at University of Missouri, Columbia, USA; University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan; Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan; Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, National Agriculture Research Center, Tsukuba, Japan; Birkbeck College of London University, London, United Kingdom; Catholic University of Louvain, Leuvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; INRA, Montpellier, France; Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. More than 300 academic papers, contributions to books and books in 40 countries of Europe, North America and Asia. Incorporating the new developing interdisciplinary New Institutional and Transaction Cost Economics (combining Economics, Organization, Law, Sociology, Political and Behavioral Sciences) into agrarian and food sector to analyze diverse modes of governance (market, private, public, hybrid, formal, informal, local, regional, transnational), and factors and prospects of institutional and organizational modernization in agri-food sector. Recent research focusing on governance and assessment of agrarian and rural sustainability; analysis of agrarian and rural institutions, organizations and contracts; environmental and risk governance, food security and food chain management; assessment of impacts of EU and national policies and programs; management and agrarian research and innovation, etc. Extensive consultancy and contribution to a great number of policy assistance projects carried out by the Government, UN FAO, EU, OECD, NATO, WB, IIED etc. Co-founder, and the first Executive Secretary and Vice-President of the Bulgarian Association of Agricultural Economists, MC member of COST IS1001 Bio-objects, and a member of the European Association of Agricultural Economists, and International Association of Agricultural Economics.



Date of Publication

December 25, 2022

File Size: 3679 KB
Length: xii + 112 pages

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