Multifunctional agriculture is a tendency, which is developing intensely and is gaining
followers in Europe, as well as all over the world. The scope of activities is constantly
expanding, as well as the forms, under which its functioning is organized.

The positive results, which are observed in practicing multifunctional farming in more advanced in this relation countries, give the grounds to be expected that this experience will find its way in Bulgaria, enabling to solve or at least to facilitate a number of social and
economic problems, sprung up and accumulated during the transition period towards developed market economy.
An opportunity for Bulgaria provides the е-ТОМАТО project whereby partners will create the necessary educational modules to facilitate the adoption of new business practices tailored to the future development of the MA, especially in the field of social and didactic
agriculture, rural tourism and shortening food supply chains.

The research of the Bulgarian case shows that the development of the social, didactic farming is in extremely initial phase. The positive thing in this case is that although in a small scale, some existing examples can be shown. The negative is that the possibilities and the advantages of the social farming are not well known on the society level, as well as on regional managing bodies level. As a consequence of this there is no common, purposeful and consistent policy to popularize and to develop this type of activity. The existing in the practice examples are realized as a result of a private initiative on a free principle without any
protection, consultation or coordination of the activities from the governing bodies.
The basic activities, which find application in the country, include animal interaction (mainly with horses) for children, youngsters and adults with different medical/health problems, as well as participation in agricultural activities of adults, having problems withthe social behaviour and adaptation (prisoners and minority representatives).

The different activities of agricultural business raised with the multifunctional agriculture (MA) idea are developed in the country: touristic agriculture and food, short food supply chain – reducing the distances between producers and consumers. Centers for rural/agrarian tourism exist in Bulgaria and their activity is oriented to the people from all age groups without specific needs, the goals of these centres are above all recreational.
Five types of actors are engaged in realization of the activities connected with MA, depending on the type of the activity exercised: therapists, instructors, educators, consultants and farmers.
From the point of view of the organizational forms, in which these activities are practiced, there can be observed: private horse ranches and private farms – situated in different regions of the country; a prisoners’ farm (Prison in Bobovdol) and a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Plovdiv, guest houses, centers. There exists a potential in the country for development of different kind of MA activities because of the suitable natural-climatic conditions and the existing traditions in the agricultural output, as well as because of the necessity of such type of activities for solving problems of various groups of the population with specific needs, and last but not least – because of the existing financial resource along the line of criterion 311(measure in our program for development of rural regions) for starting and development of this kind of activities.
However, the realization of this potential requires coordinated and purposeful work of the representatives of the state authority, scientists, educators, specialists from the practice, participating in projects that enable transnational, structured partnerships between higher
education and business, who have to popularize the idea and to reveal its perspectives and opportunities for realization.

The different activities of agricultural business raised with the multifunctional agriculture (MA) idea are developed in the country: touristic agriculture and food, short food supply chain – reducing the distances between producers and consumers. Centers for rural/agrarian tourism exist in Bulgaria and their activity is oriented to the people from all age groups without specific needs, the goals of these centres are above all recreational.
Five types of actors are engaged in realization of the activities connected with MA, depending on the type of the activity exercised: therapists, instructors, educators, consultants and farmers.
From the point of view of the organizational forms, in which these activities are practiced, there can be observed: private horse ranches and private farms – situated in different regions of the country; a prisoners’ farm (Prison in Bobovdol) and a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Plovdiv, guest houses, centers. There exists a potential in the country for development of different kind of MA activities because of the suitable natural-climatic conditions and the existing traditions in the agricultural output, as well as because of the necessity of such type of activities for solving problems of various groups of the population with specific needs, and last but not least – because of the existing financial resource along the line of criterion 311(measure in our program for development of rural regions) for starting and development of this kind of activities.
However, the realization of this potential requires coordinated and purposeful work of the representatives of the state authority, scientists, educators, specialists from the practice, participating in projects that enable transnational, structured partnerships between higher
education and business, who have to popularize the idea and to reveal its perspectives and opportunities for realization.

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