Social and environmental impact of the new industrial plant
AGRY_GAYA’18 Project will promote sustainable and inclusive growth in Northwest Bulgaria with a new approach to environmental technologies that will help create green jobs in the region and reduce unemployment by contributing to economic and social progress.
The environmental protection, development of the agricultural system and agroforestry and bio diversity are of main and essential priority for both the Project and the entire region.
- Danube Region is displaying a large variety of bio geographical features, hence a wide range of various living habitats. The variety is caused by the many types of climates existing in the area, consequence of the different landscapes. This makes the macro region as a whole a very valuable natural environment, with unique characteristics on global level. The value of the natural environment is worldwide recognized; eight UNESCO World Heritage natural sites being designated in the area.
- The central element of the macro-region is the hydrographic basin of the Danube River.
- The establishment of agroforestry systems to increase the income of small farmers and foresters in the north-western part of the country, while achieving environmental and societal benefits, could be a good opportunity to boost the economic development of the areas. The ecological-climatic conditions of the country are particularly suitable for the development of forest farming and other forms of agroforestry. The main purpose to plant mulberry trees /Morus Alba/ is they to play important role as forest belts in order to reduce the adverse effects of wind, precipitation, water flows and hazardous emissions, and to improve the soil, air and ecological conditions of the surrounding lands and territories.
By the creation of protective forest belts, environmental benefits will be achieved: the wind-proof effect (reduction of wind speed by up to 30%); reduction of soil evaporation by up to 40%; increasing relative humidity to 16%; reduction in daily temperature amplitudes up to 3°C in the ground layer of air; increasing the duration of snow-retention; providing refuges for birds, wild and domestic animals; and general improvement of forest cover, climate and the landscape.
Along with all the environmental and social benefits from mulberry plantations, opportunities arise for using abandoned areas, achieving good income and covering the energy needs. Mulberry are excellent plants as well for use in polycultures. They are tolerant of partial shade and are suitable for parallel plant growing.
The UN General Assembly declared the decade 2019-2028 of family farming
The industrial food chain uses at least 75% of the world’s land plots and most of the fossil fuels and freshwater resources of agriculture. At the same time, it feeds only 30% of the world’s population. It is important that over 500 million agricultural farms worldwide use less than 25% of the land and almost no fossil fuels or chemicals to feed 70% of humanity. At the same time, the farm network has introduced 2.1 million new plant varieties, while industrial farming has introduced only 100,000.
The UN resolution also recognizes the importance of women and young farmers in family farming. Rural employment which has become one of the major focus of the inclusive development in all the developing economies and is a one of the priorities for north-western part of Bulgaria.
Due to the migration processes last years from the rural areas to the big cities, the women in the rural areas are the most valuable resource in our project. They are highly experienced in the sericulture activities and still keep the history, knowledge and experience in raw silk production as most of them are middle-aged old.
Remarkable results achieved during the International year of family farming IYFF-2014 are giving the hope that Bulgaria will join this initiative promoted by the World Rural Forum and declared by the United Nation General Assembly as soon as possible to apply it as a stimulation tool for sustainable development of agricultural systems based on farmer families. Main objectives are achieving the recognition of the role of women in Family Farming, increase public investment in infrastructures and services in rural areas, increase social awareness, etc.
- This project will also encourage similar investment initiatives in this region, unlocking the potential of north-western Bulgaria and using national natural resources for sustainable growth, reducing migration from the region, developing cross-border cooperation, and attracting foreign investment.
- This project will put new light and real opportunities to link the industrial symbiosis, social indicators, prevent waste generation and turn them into new high-quality products. AGRY_GAYA’18 Project will also give the following directions in building new regional infrastructure facilities, access to renewed and water-supply systems and electricity grids that are of a national and international priority.
- The midterms goals of the project are to promote family farming together with an industrial facility of large-scale to reduce poverty in the region, to provide conditions for developing local potential, preserving biodiversity, sustainable development of the region, protecting the environment and reducing migration.
Why the mother plant is based in Bulgaria
Bulgaria, as a place for this kind of manufacturing is the place with a lot of benefits:
- Bulgaria provides an end-to-end solution to developing the Food & Agri sector: Unique natural conditions for the cultivation of a wide variety of long-term crops, fruits and vegetables, 50% of the country’s territory is farming land, Ecologically clean and fertile soils, Very high quality of organic products, Established local producers and a strong tradition in the sector of seri culture, Very high health and environmental protection standards make Bulgarian agricultural products fully prepared to meet even the highest and most complex consumer requirements;
- Located at the heart of the Balkans, Bulgaria is a strategic logistics hub. Ease of transportation of cargo is provided by two main seaports: Varna and Bourgas and numerous ports at the Danube River;
- Work force is well educated, highly skilled and multilingual: 62.2 % of the total population is in working age (approx. 4.6 million), 60 000 students annually graduate from 51 universities, 98% of the high school students study a foreign language (usually English) and 73% study a second language (mainly German, French, Spanish, Russian);
- Bulgaria has the most favorable tax regime in Europe: Corporate income tax rate is 10%, the lowest in the EU, There is a 2-year VAT exemption for imports of equipment for investment projects over €5 million, creating at least 50 jobs, 5% withholding tax on dividends and liquidation quotas (0% for EU tax residents), Bulgarian cost of electricity for industrial users is 70% of the European average.