bulgariaThe Agricultural Knowledge and Information System, AKIS,  in Bulgaria consists of the following actors:



Politicy/government structures responsible for capacity development in the agricultural sector.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food, MAF, www.mzh.government.bg/mzh/en/Home.aspx

MAF with its integrated Directorates (esp. Rural Development) and Departments (esp. Agroecology, etc.) within each Directorate and their respective regional offices.

  • National Agricultural Advisory Service, NAAS, www.naas.government.bg (click for details) at MAF  (105 extension officers)
  • Centre for Vocational Education at NAAS
  • Agricultural Academy (AA) at MAF
  • National Plant Protection and Quarantine Service (NPPQS) at MAF
  • Ministry of Environment and Waters, MEW,  www.moew.government.bg/index_e.html

    MEW's integrated directorates also relate to MAF and NAAS, e.g. soil and water protection, NATURA 2000, etc.

    Regional MAF Structures

  • Regional Agricultural Advisory Services (RAAS) in the NAAS system. The 28 RAAS are equipped with basic office facilities, communication means, transport vehicles for farm visits, etc. The extension officers receive 6-7 monthly agricultural magazines, Internet weekly/monthly bulletins of the RPPQS, books and brochures from the Agricultural Academy and its specialised (commodity oriented) regional research institutes (fruit production, vegetable production, grain production, sheep production, etc.).The RAAS offices provide to farmers extension leaflets and more detailed brochures on specific topics. Usually the leaflets and booklets are provided to producers free of charge. 
  • Regional Departments of “Agriculture” (RDA). The regional offices of MAF (Regional Service “Agriculture”) may intervene by providing information (books/brochures) and additional infrastructure (ICT), by monitoring some of the farmers advised by RAAS officers and by providing the advisors with necessary professional backup and accompaniment through training and subject matter expertise. This subject matter expertise in most cases is provided by different Research Institutes within the system of Agricultural Academy:
  • Regional Scientific Institutes within the Agricultural Academy. These aim to provide and transfer scientific achievements into practical expertise for farmers, including via RAAS system. Although significant bulk of research is done every year, the regional institutes still struggle to link the research to small and medium farms, as only large enterprises benefit from new technologies. The positive point is that they training for extensionists and farmers, and elaborate extension material and render specific services (soil-, water analysis, feed analysis) to the public.
  • Field Extension staff

    At the RAAS and the RDA

    Extension managers

  • Agronomists in a private company for crop production and processing
  • Private consultants in private extension companies
  • Farmers/farm households and private producers

  • Traditional farmers, who constitute the majority of the farming population, have small production resources and produce a broad spectrum of crops, that are mainly consumed by the family,
  • Commercial farmers, who constitute a minor portion of the farming community. They have more resources (area, animals, money, knowledge) and have specialized to certain areas of production (dairy, horticulture, fruticulture). For their production pattern they are integrated into the regional/national market.
  • Farmers in transition between the two groups (so called semi-commercial farmers).
  • Non-governmental consultancy organizations

  •  Donor-supported NGOs and international projects
  • Farmers’ associations

  •  Association of Agricultural Producers of Bulgaria
  • Cooperative “BioBulgaria” and similar
  • The Ministry of Education with its extensions in higher and vocational education

  • Agricultural University, AU, of Plovdiv. AU provides education and training to students at Bachelor and Master level. Thus, the AU is a vital source of graduates that often continue to work within the MAF structures (RAAS, RPPQS, RSA) and research institutes of AA.  There is annual fund for financing scientific research at AU, which is divided between various research groups based on priority topics (e.g. crop or animal husbandry, apiculture or viticulture, etc.). At working level, there are well developed informal cooperations between the AU and the RAAS offices and the regional Research Institutes of AA.
  • Centre for Vocational Education at AU-Plovdiv
  • Farm managers at University research/learning fields
  • Higher School “Agricultural College” – Plovdiv
  • Input suppliers and traders

    - in every region and large town

    Wholesalers, agro-processors and agro-processing industry with their associations

    - in every region and large town

    Provided by the Director of NAAS, L. Marinov, July 2011  (used by permission). The full analytical report is attached below.

    List of Extension Providers

    icon target The following list shows an excerpt from the GFRAS Directory of Extension Providers for Bulgaria. Some of these entries may be specially marked for having more detailed information in the database of the Worldwide Extension Study WWES.