The orchard areas in the country for the period 2007 to mid 2017 increased threefold to 678,207 acres, compared to 283,610 decares ten years ago. This shows the latest data on the structure of the fruit plantations in Bulgaria presented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, writes sinor.bg. The survey is conducted every five years in the Member States of the European Union. The aim is to provide up-to-date data on the variety and age structure and density of planting of orchards of apples, pears, apricots and jelly, peaches, nectarines, vineyards with dessert grape varieties, plums and cherries, sour cherries, walnuts, almonds , hazelnuts and raspberries. Object of observation is 46 000 farms in the whole country, which cultivate at least 1 acre of pure culture – apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and cherries, cherries, sour cherries, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, raspberries and vines with dessert grape varieties. The sharp rise in the area is undoubtedly due to the boom in the planting of walnuts, which because of subsidies, easy farming and almost “zero” spending provoked a mass of people to make walnut gardens. That’s why the areas with this culture for ten years have grown nearly five times. In 2007, the walnut gardens were 41,640 decares, while in the middle of 2017 the area fell to 177,625 decares, according to the statistics.
There is also an increase in other fruit trees such as cherries, sour cherries, plums and ginkgo, but unlike walnuts there is an economic logic to develop a business rather than to draw subsidies, for surely after the European support is stopped, these areas will be uprooted. And because walnut trees are producing fruit only in the fifth year, it is not clear whether production of these nearly 200,000 decares will be available on the market, commented farmers. Agrarian ministry statistics show a significant increase in gardens with cherries, plums and ginkgo. If 10 years ago the cherry gardens occupied a little over 50,000 acres, in 2017 these areas already reach 125,327 acres, the increase being more than twice. In plums the growth is even bigger. In 2007, there were only 6 7 310 decares, and in 2017 these gardens already occupy 112 488 decares or twice more for these ten years.
There is also interest in apples, but the growth is not that big. At 35 240 decares in 2007 ten years later these gardens occupy 51 481 decares. It has also been invested in pear trees, the size of which has grown from 3 120 decares to 6 770 decares. Minimal growth is in areas with apricots, which from 25 530 decares have grown to 33 882 decares. At least the new peach gardens are, because while in 2007 there were 29,030 decares, in 2017 they were only 36,629 acres. The data from this study is extremely important because it directs branch organizations to make their own analyzes of how Bulgarian fruit could compete with imports in terms of market entry.