Regional analysis

Project №B2.6d.11 / 1.07.2019 "Improving environmental governance by youth-led SMEs" (EnvironmentYou) is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and nationally co-financed by the countries participating in the INTERREG VA Cross-Border Cooperation Program Greece-Bulgaria

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Blagoevgrad district occupies the southwestern part of Bulgaria and is its "door" open to the Balkans, Europe and the world. Its total area is 6,449 km2, which represents 5.8% of the country's territory. Its southern border is with the Hellenic Republic, on the west it borders with the Republic of Macedonia, on the east with Pazardzhik and Smolyan regions, and on the north with Kyustendil region. Administratively, the district is divided into 14 municipalities, 96 mayoralties and 280 settlements.

  • The relief of the area is characterized by exceptional diversity - from alpine to hollow. It includes in whole or in part the highest mountains in Bulgaria - Rila, Pirin and Rhodope, in which there are areas with high mountain, mid-mountain and foothill relief.
  • Depending on the altitude, relief and location, the territories of the district fall into three climatic areas: transitional continental (north), transitional Mediterranean (south) and mountainous area. The specific climatic conditions and relief form the climatic diversity: in the north - an area with a transitional continental climate, in the south - a transitional Mediterranean climate, and in the high parts of the mountains - mountainous. The Mediterranean climatic influence is most pronounced in the valley of the Struma River and less in the Gotse Delchev valley in the valley of the Mesta River.
  • Most of the territory of the district is occupied by cinnamon forest soils, suitable for growing tobacco, vineyards and orchards. Brown forest soils, which are occupied by forests and alluvial and deluvial soils along rivers, which are suitable for vegetable production, are also widespread. The highest parts of the mountains are occupied by mountain-meadow soils, on which rich pastures are developed.
  • The water wealth of Blagoevgrad region is formed by the two main river arteries Struma and Mesta and their numerous tributaries - Blagoevgrad Bistritsa, Lebnitsa, Demyanitsa, Pirinska Bistritsa, Strumeshnitsa, Belishka river, Glazne, Kanina, Tufcha and many more. etc., from karst springs in Pirin and Slavyanka and over 160 circus lakes in Pirin and Rila.
  • The forest fund in the district occupies 346739 ha (58% of its territory). Its share is determined by the predominant mountainous character of the relief. Its richness is formed by coniferous (mainly white and black pine) and deciduous forests (beech, oak, poplar, chestnut, etc.) and pastures.
  • The land resource in the district is limited. The arable land occupies only 13.2% of its total area, which is only 2% of the arable land in Bulgaria.
  • The main crops grown in the area are corn, wheat, barley and oats. The prerequisites for their cultivation are related to the long vegetation period, the unpretentiousness to the soil conditions and the adaptability to higher mountain areas. The areas occupied with vegetables in Blagoevgrad district amount to 8,146 ha, which represents 33% of the areas with vegetables in the Southwestern region and 19.3% of the vegetable areas in the country.
  • The development of animal husbandry in Blagoevgrad district is favored by climatic and natural resources. The high relative share of the permanently grassed areas on the territory of the district creates excellent conditions for the development of pasture animal husbandry.
  • The forestry on the territory of Blagoevgrad district is relatively well developed. Territorially and structurally, the forests and the territories with forest fund in the South-Western planning region are united in three Regional Forest Departments with a total forest area of 1,050,483 ha. The forest fund in Blagoevgrad district covers 394,648 ha, which amounts to 37.6% of the total forest fund of the Southwestern planning region. The forested area forms 83.8%, and the unforested - only 3.9% of the forest fund of the district.

Kardzhali district is rich in natural minerals and has established traditions in the field of processing and mining.

  • An important place in the economic development of Kardzhalirdzhali district is occupied by the processing industry. In this branch the most expenses were made for tangible fixed assets. The companies in the industry specialize in the processing of non-metallic and ore minerals and the production of lead, zinc, tin and their alloys, plastic products, bentonite, perlite and zeolite products, as well as products after metalworking.
  • Important for the region sub-sectors of the processing industry are the textile and clothing industry, where a significant part of foreign direct investment - Greece, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.
  • The companies in the sector for production of food products, beverages and tobacco products are oriented mainly in bread production, confectionery, milk processing, meat processing and tobacco processing.
  • Logging is very well developed. The timber is exported to the interior of the country and abroad, and the wood is not processed in depth in the region.

Smolyan district is located in Southern Bulgaria and is located in the central part of the Rhodopes on a territory of 3 192.9 sq. km or 2.9% of the country's territory.

  • On the territory of Smolyan region there are 10 municipalities - Banite, Borino, Devin, Dospat, Zlatograd, Madan, Nedelino, Rudozem, Smolyan and Chepelare, with 242 settlements, 8 of which are cities.
  • In Smolyan district, as well as in other districts of Bulgaria, and in most EU member states, small and medium enterprises are of structural importance for the economy and are a major driver of economic growth.
  • The relative share of the sector "Agriculture, forestry and fisheries" is 10.4%, of the sector "Construction" - 10.0%, "Mining and quarrying" - 6.8% and "Transport, storage and post" - 6.7% of the production in the district.

Haskovo district is located in the central part of Southern Bulgaria and covers 5543 sq. km. or 5% of the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

  • A favorable factor for the region is the presence of a border with two countries - Greece and Turkey.
  • Haskovo District has a huge potential in terms of the development of the wine industry. The area has long been known for its excellent grapes and the high quality wine that is produced from it. There are traces of wine production since the time of the Thracians, in the so-called "sharapani" - wine stones near the village of Mineralni Bani.
  • In addition to wine production, the food industry on the territory of the district is represented by bakery and confectionery, meat processing industry, dairy processing and canning industry.
  • Haskovo District and in particular Haskovo Municipality is one of the main centers of Bulgarian machine building for the food industry.
  • Agriculture is one of the leading industries in Haskovo district, which creates employment for a large part of the population in the region. In the area there are extremely favorable soil and climatic conditions for the development of crop production. The temperate-Mediterranean climate, combined with the abundant water resources in the region, are important prerequisites for growing a wide variety of crops.
  • Livestock breeding in the Haskovo region is extremely concentrated in the private sector and is characterized by a high relative share of small farms. Cattle, pigs and poultry are raised in the plains, and sheep and goats in the semi-mountainous areas. The prospects for animal husbandry in the region are related to the consolidation of livestock farms in order to increase productivity and make optimal use of funding under international programs.