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Agro-Info Center (AIC)

Agro-Info Center (AIC)


The Agro-info Centre was set up in the autumn of 2000 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The Agro-info Centre has the following functions:

  • It organizes trainings and workshops for increasing the capacity of representatives of the municipal administration, of the specialized agricultural schools and local not-for-profit organizations to take part in the proces of development of rural regions;
  • It provides consulting and technical aid in the development and implementation of projects in the field of agriculture and small business development;
  • It develops prints and disseminates specialized publications, manages databases with specific information in the field of agriculture;
  • It provides information, specialized consulting services, trainings and technical aid to small farmers in the following two fields: 1) how to gain land ownership, 2) effective management of agricultural activities.

The team of the Agro-info Centre provides the following types of consulting services:

Agro-consulting

Each family which has joined the financial schemes of the programme is entitled to free agrotechnical assistance. The AIC team closely monitors the activities of the programme participants and provides the necessary consulting services. On-site monitoring visits are planned and made and should a particular problem arises, the families-beneficiaries can rely on additional consulting.

Consulting related to the Rural Development Programme (RDP)

In the recent couple of years the Agroinfo Centre team provides consulting services to the families which participate in the programme. The latter are informed about opportunities for financing through the Rural Development Programme (RDP).

Three business plans were developed for three young people of Roma origin and the applications were filed under Measure 112 – “Setting up farms by young farmers” within the  RDP.

In 2010 г. the applications were approved and another business plan was developed under Measure 141 “Support for semi-market farms” of RDP. The application was approved in 2011.

Meanwhile the rest of the programme participants are given advice on how to reach the level of development required for getting finance from RDP.

Business, administrative and legal consulting

The beneficiaries of the financial schemes of the programme are provided specialized business consulting for the initiatives they plan to undertake.

The economists in the AIC analyze the proposals and recommend the most suitable way of their implementation. If a proposal is viable and the family is able to implement it, the proposal is financially supported by Zemya (Land) Association.

Legal support is also provided to the families-beneficiaries – when signing contracts for production and sale of agricultural products, renting or purchasing arable land or tools, solving problems with local and central authorities.

Aids the obtaining of ownership on land

This is a procedure through which landless and poor families, inhabiting rural regions of Bulgaria, are enabled to purchase or rent state or municipal land at reasonable prices. According to the Law on ownership and usage of agricultural land families are considered landless when they do not own any land; families are considered poor when they own less than 10 ooo sq m land in the plains or up to 15 000 sq m in the mountainous regions of the country.

The AIC at the Land – Source of Income Foundation disseminates information about the procedure of obtaining ownership on land and provides both technical and legal support to landless and poor people mainly of Roma origin who want to take advantage of it.