The focus-group discussion in Bulgaria was held on May 13, 2021 in Dobrich, Bulgaria, organized by the Association “Dobrudzha Agricultural and Business School“, lead beneficiary of the project Cross-Border Alliance for Climate-Smart and Green Agriculture in the Black Sea Basin. This was the first public national event for the project and it was attended by 30 participants among which local farmers, entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector and their branch organizations; representatives of local public institutions, researchers, NGOs and other interested groups.
During the event, the outcomes of study on the state of art and potential of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in Bulgaria was presented and discussed with the stakeholders. The report was aimed at emphasizing the potential problems that could occur if the restructuring and modernization of the agricultural sector goes this way and determine how, after all significant factors are considered, this development should be pursued. The country-specific conditions of the operation of sustainable agriculture in the Bulgaria, potential obstacles, competition and the funding needed to get the business up and running were also highlighted. The results of the study climate-smart agricultural practices from the regions of North-East and South East of Bulgaria drew the participating in the workshop practitioners’ and general public’s attention on the potential of CSA from a business point of view.
Further the discussion focused on the presented blueprint for a regional brand and a branding strategy for agricultural products originating in the Black Sea Basin and produced in a climate-smart way. An international experts’ working group drafted the strategy aiming at providing marketing tools for the biological and organic agricultural producers and their associations so that they receive better recognition on the local, national and if possible – international markets. The suggested approaches for attracting consumers, the marketing tools and messages identified by the experts, as well as the visual and graphic presentation of the brand were discussed with the participants in the workshop. The comments and recommendations of the attendees will be considered by the working group while fine-tuning the branding strategy.
Finally, the workshop was closed by a presentation of the AGREEN Community of Practice (COP) as a network of like-minded professionals with versatile profiles who work on the different aspects of sustainable agriculture. An invitation to join the Community was addressed to the participants for enlargement and enriching the network with additional expertise coming from the local practitioners, entrepreneurs, researchers, policy-makers, etc.
More information about the project is available on the project website: https://agreen-project.eu.
The training sessions are organised by the programme management structures and are aiming to enhance capacity of beneficiaries to collect, consolidate and report the progress achieved by the projects.
The first meeting of the Joint Programming Committee – body responsible for the preparation of the Interreg NEXT (Neighbourhood External) Black Sea Basin Programme 2021-2027 – was held on the 29th of January 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The eligible participating countries of the new Programme involves ten states from the Black Sea Basin: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine.