Agricultural policy in fruit growing - farmers`perceptions of the effects of different instruments
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Author: Ivan Penov, Vanya Manolova
Economic policy is defined as actions of the government in one or several areas of the economy to achieve certain goals. The economic theory is built on the concept that personal benefits and costs determine the choice of individuals. When the prevailing opinion is that the net benefits are small, the economic agents will not apply for support and the policies will not achieve the desired effect. Therefore, policies should be clear and realistic and take into account the views of the stakeholders (in our case – the fruit producers). The purpose of the article is, based on a study of the fruit and vegetables producers’ perceptions about the effects of implemented programs to suggest options for improvement of the policy in the sector. In this regard, 50 farmers from the four planning regions of Bulgaria, were interviewed. The sample was drawn randomly but also snowballing and chain sampling were used. By means of cluster analysis the farmers were divided into three groups according to their characteristics. The study found no significant differences in the evaluation of policies for the three clusters in terms of knowledge, difficulty and efficiency. Policies were not well known by the farmers. The interviewed found that the procedures for receiving the direct payments were comparatively easy, but their usefulness is the lowest. Project financing is considered difficult, but the assessment of their usefulness is relatively high, depending on the specific program.

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