Authors: H. Bachev, Dr. of Science (Economics), Prof., ORCID 0000-0003-0555-7468, Institute of Agricultural Economics, Sofia, Bulgaria; A. Kharlamova, PhD in Economics, Associate Professor, ORCID 0000-0003-3614-712, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine.
Abstract: A need to include “the fourth” Governance pillar in the concept for understanding and the assessment system of (overall and) agrarian sustainability is increasingly justified in academic literature and finds place in the frameworks of government, international, private, etc. organizations. In Bulgaria, like in many other countries, practically there are no comprehensive assessments of the governance sustainability of agriculture and its importance for the overall agrarian development. This study tries to fill the gap and suggests a holistic framework for understanding and assessing the governance sustainability of Bulgarian agriculture. The newly elaborated approach is “tested” in a large-scale study for assessing the governance sustainability of country’s agriculture at national, sectoral, regional, eco-system and farm levels. The study has proved that it is important to include the “missing” Governance Pillar in the assessment of the Integral sustainability of agriculture and sustainability of agro-systems of various type. Multiple Principles, Criteria and Indicators assessment of the Governance sustainability of Bulgarian agriculture indicates that the Overall Governance Sustainability is at a “Good” but very close to the “Satisfactory” level. Besides, there is a considerable differentiation in the level of Integral Governance sustainability of different agro-systems in the country. What is more, the individual indicators with the highest and lowest sustainability values determine the “critical” factors enhancing and deterring the particular and integral Governance sustainability of evaluated agro-system. Last but not least important, results on the integral agrarian sustainability assessment based on micro (farm) and macro (statistical, etc.) data show some discrepancies which have to be taken into consideration in the analysis and interpretation, while assessment indicators, methods and data sources further improved. Having in mind the importance of holistic assessments of this kind for improving the agrarian sustainability in general, and the Governance sustainability of agriculture in particular, they are to be expended and their precision and representation increased.
Key words: governance sustainability, assessment, agriculture, subsectors, agro-regions, agro-ecosystems, farming organizations, Bulgaria.
Recei ved: 01/08/ 2020
1st Revision: 08/08/2020
Accepted: 06/09/ 2020
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