Bulgaria Ranks Among Top Three in Europe for Sheep Farming Subsidies

Bulgaria ranks among the top three countries in Europe in terms of financial support for sheep farming, yet the sector struggles due to outdated farming practices, making Bulgarian lamb meat uncompetitive in the market.

Simeon Karakolev, representing the National Sheep and Goat Breeding Association, highlighted this issue on BNR ahead of the National Meeting of Sheep Breeders. Despite Bulgarian sheep breeders receiving an average annual subsidy of BGN 180 per animal, their counterparts in Romania and North Macedonia receive significantly lower subsidies of 30 and 35 euros, respectively. However, sheep farming remains financially unprofitable in Bulgaria.

Karakolev attributed this challenge to an outdated farming model inherited from previous agricultural systems. In Bulgaria, there's a prevalent practice of hiring labor for grazing and milking sheep, leading to additional labor costs that undermine profitability.

To enhance competitiveness, Karakolev emphasized the importance of agricultural associations. However, out of the 60,000 registered agricultural producers in Bulgaria, only a fraction—500—are currently associated.

During Easter and St. George's Day, Bulgarian sheep breeders typically sell around 500,000 lambs, with a significant portion, approximately 60-70%, being sold directly from farms.

The upcoming 12th edition of the National Assembly of Sheep Breeders in Bulgaria is scheduled to take place from May 24 to 26 near the Peter and Paul Monastery close to Lyaskovets.

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