Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science
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The role of small-scale farming for local economic development and family incomes: The case of Land-Source of Income program, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Ivan Penov
Abstract: Microenterprises play an essential role in Bulgarian agriculture. However, in recent years, there has been a decline in the number of small family farms. Among the reasons for this trend are limited access to credit, consultancy, and EU funding compared to the larger farmers. In the present article, an evaluation of the impact of small farming on the local economy is presented. The sample includes Roma farmers participating in the Land-Source of Income program. We find that small farming has a strong impact on the local economy, generating substantial cash flow that is often unnoticed not only by the State but also by local authorities. The Land program also contributes to the creation of this cash flow. The findings in this article suggest lessons for small-scale farming that go beyond the researched area: (1). The economy should be seen as an ecosystem of micro, small, medium, and large businesses. Therefore, the policies must optimize the entire ecosystem, not a particular group of actors, or industries (2) this ecosystem consists of the different types of participants and the legislative framework, in which they operate. Small, medium and large businesses interact on local markets, and this creates the cash flow in the system (3). It is not easy to separate the effects of the programs from those made by general economic development, but attempts in this direction can help us to understand better the socio-economic processes we research.
Keywords: Ecosystem; Isolated communities; Low-income farmers; Support programs
Citation: Penov, I. (2023). The role of small-scale farming for local economic development and family incomes: The case of Land-Source of Income program, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 29 (Supplement 1), 3–12.
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Date published: 2023-12-20
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