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The rural areas in Bulgaria cover more then 80% of the country territory and account for about 29% of the population. Their development depends strongly on agricultural sector. The paper examines structural changes in agriculture, labour market situation in rural areas and presents the main results of the survey performed in three region of Bulgaria. The study shows a substantial decline in the number of farm with economic size between 0,5 and 3 ESU and a stable increase in the number of large farms. Major factors having impact on farm restructuring are: improvements in economic situation, in particular the increase in real income, positive developments of land market, deterioration of age structure of rural population and the habits of rural population to keep some agricultural activity. An important development of subsistence and semi subsistence farms is observed indicating two opposite processes: a process of transforming of a small part of semi-subsistence into commercial farms or into higher economic size group and another part of them converged to subsistence farms. The number of subsistence farms with economic size 0,5 – 1 ESU also declined as the reduction is either due to reduction of farm activity or due to exit from the sector. The most important option for employment and source of income in villages studied is agriculture, but the earned income is much below the national average The most important factor having impact on a decision to start a job outside agriculture is “To ensure households leaving standards/ generate cash income”. Generally the respondents do not think that they will have possibility to start their self employed business outside agriculture in the next 5 years. Only 25% of them expect to stay in agriculture as nearly 50% of the commercial farms will keep operating and only 17% - 26% of small farms will remain in the sector


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