Проф. д.ик.н АНТОАНЕТА СИМОВА
СУ “Св. Климент Охридски” , Факултет “Стопанско управление”
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St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
The aim of the present article is to analyze the state of production and realization of honey at the beginning of the membership of the country in the EU and to point out the major problems that limit the competitiveness of the Bulgarian producers on the united European market.
The production of honey during the last years has varied within the limits from 5,000 to 10,000 t. Bee keeping is best developed in North Bulgaria, the leading areas being Dobrich, Silistra, Pleven, and Veliko Tarnovo. In South Bulgaria the greatest number of bee families has been registered in the district of Plovdiv. An essential feature of bee keeping in Bulgaria is the existence of predominantly small producers and the lack of unification of the producers in co-operatives for common processing and realization of the production.
The major part of the honey produced in the country is exported. For instance, during the period 2000-2005 between 52 and 100% of the honey produced during the respective year has been realized on the international markets. Around 1,000-1,500 t of honey are realized on the home market and approximately the same amount is sold through informal channels.
The most essential part of the state funding of the sector is currently achieved through allocation of subsidies by the SAPARD Programme and Fund Agriculture. The state subsidies, however, are insufficient for the sector development.
Bulgaria is not able to compete in quantitative aspect with the great exporting countries and cannot achieve higher costs if it keeps the current export structure where the larger part of products is exported in industrial packages. The low prices obtained by the export for the industrial markets do not stimulate the producers because the processors and jobbers transfer the result from the lowering of the prices on the producers of the raw material. Our country can achieve success on the EU market only if it increases the share of the sales of the products with high added value or trademarks.
Thus, it is necessary to follow the practice of the producers in the EU that are organized in cooperatives for packaging and marketing of the final products. Unfortunately, the process of formation of groups of producers in the sector has not started yet- no groups of bee-keepers have been registered in MAF by January, 2007.
Having in mind the ecological and geographical characteristics of the country it is possible to double the number of the bee families so that it can reach 1.3 million. These quantities can be processed by the existing production capacities. The major obstacle for the increase of the number of the bee families kept by one bee-keeper is the outdated technology that requires investment of much labour and cannot be mechanized. For this reason the state subsidies and the funding by the European pre-accession programmes should be directed to fast substitution of the technologies used by the bee-keepers.
Key words: honey, production, realization, Euopean market
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Статията е постъпила в редакцията на 16.02.2007 г.