Factsheet for case BG-2020-34/1181 – measures in Bulgaria
|Country||Bulgaria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 19 August 2020 – 13 November 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
|Author||Eva Dimitrova (for Eurofound)|
|Case created||24 September 2020 (updated 02 February 2021)|
The Bulgarian government has implemented three special funding programmes for agriculture business that has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and faced difficulties for optimal realisation of farming activity.
Sub-measure COVID I: 'Extraordinary temporary support for farmers' has a budget of BGN 93,5 million (approx. €46 million) and covers the sectors - 'Fruits and vegetables', 'Oil-bearing rose', 'Vineyards', 'Ornamental plants', 'Livestock' (cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats) and 'Beekeeping'.
Sub-measure COVID II: 'Extraordinary temporary support for farmers 2' has a budget of BGN 5.5 million (approx. €2,7 million) and covers all other areas in the field of crop production and 'Livestock' (pigs and poultry).
Sub-measure COVID III: 'Extraordinary temporary support for small and medium-sized enterprises and recognized producer groups and organisations' has a budget of BGN 7,3 million (approx. €3.15 million) and covers micro, small or medium-sized agricultural enterprises. Exception make businesses in fishery as well as groups, and producer organisations carrying out the processing, marketing or development of agricultural products.
The conditions for granting the aid and the documents for application under the sub-measures are described in the published in the State Gazette, issue no. 70 of 7 August 2020. Ordinance № 2 of 5 August 2020 on the implementation of measure 21 'Extraordinary temporary support for farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises, which are particularly affected by the crisis caused by COVID-19'. The aid is part of the national 'Programme for rural development' (PRD) for the period 2014 - 2020.
The measures are precedent by de minimis subsidy due to COVID-19, paid for April, May and June 2020, within the scope of the current PRD.
Sub-measure for agriculture COVID I offers farmers subsidies according to the size of their arable land or number of livestock. The measure varies in accordance to the type of agrarian production and livestock. The state aid starts from BGN 300 (€150) for a vineyard hectare and goes up to BGN 5,000 (€2,500) for a hectare in vegetable production. The state aid is paid once.
Sub measure COVID II offers employment subsidiaries for employees in the agricultural industry as follows:
The measure targets farmers who have applied for support under the direct payment schemes in the national agricultural campaigns 2019 and 2020 or have applied and have been approved for de minimis state aid for beekeeping in 2019. Beneficiaries will also receive support with a valid contract or approved application under other measures within the scope of PRD 2014 - 2020.
Applicants may receive support for more than one of the farming activities within the framework, but not more than BGN 14,000 (€7,000).
The financial aid under sub-measure COVID III is offering state aid to agricultural small and medium enterprises that experience revenue decrease of at least 20% compared to 2019. The aid amounts 5% of the value of the declared income from the sale of processed agricultural products for 2019 or BGN 270 (€135) for an employee.
Application period for COVID I and II is 19 August 2020 - 21 September 2020.
Application period for COVID III is 26 October 2020 - 13 November 2020.
Around 33,860 applications were submitted under the emergency measures COVID I and COVID II. Sub-measure I attracted 32,694 farmers and sub-measure II - 1,166.
The COVID I sub-measure granted nearly BGN 70 million (€35 million) to about 30,000 farmers.
The payment of COVID I was initiated on 16 October 2020.
A total of about 30,000 farmers have (by the final date of the measure: 13 November 2020) received support under the measure, according to Bulgaria's agriculture minister. This met the initial expectations for the effect of the measure, as almost the entire allocated resource of €35 million was spent.
|Applies to all workers||
Sector specific set of companies
One person or microenterprises
|Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The measures COVID I, II, III were designed after a request made by agricultural organisations and producers, who experienced the de minimis subsidies during the second quarter of 2020 as insufficient to combat the economic impacts in agriculture. They are welcoming the programmes.
Most farmers see the measure as important and helpful. The need of the measure vary across sectors, as some sectors have been impacted stronger than others, also to factors related to climate. However, some industries like beekeeping see the aid insufficient to cover the looses caused by the pandemic.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|A - Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing||A1 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Agricultural, forestry and fishery labourers|
Eurofound (2020), COVID-19: State aid for agriculture, case BG-2020-34/1181 (measures in Bulgaria), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.