Bulgaria - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Machinery and Equipment

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-09-11


Bulgaria is one of the leading agricultural exporters in Southeastern Europe. Although smaller compared to its neighbors, Bulgarian farmers have a long tradition in cultivating all major crops including wheat, corn, sunflower seeds (in 2020 Bulgaria ranked seventh largest exporter in the world), rapeseed, and barley. The Bulgarian Government has been upgrading and investing in irrigation systems to help local farmers increase efficiency and compete in the EU and worldwide.  Modernization of agricultural enterprises, particularly for small and medium-sized farms, is a key priority for the Bulgaria authorities which is backed by EU financial mechanisms such as the EU structural funds and the National Recovery and Resilience Development plan and available to all eligible farmers in purchasing agribusiness technologies and solutions.  

In 2021, the share of the agriculture industry in the Bulgarian gross domestic product (GDP) accounted for some 5 per cent.  Bulgarian arable land totals 3.8 million hectares or about 47 percent of the country’s surface area. Bulgaria is a well-respected market player in Southeast Europe and a key exporter of raw agricultural commodities.  

Financial Opportunities

Under the EU Structural Funds for the period 2021-2027 Bulgaria will receive some USD 8 billion for farmers support and development of Bulgaria’s agricultural industry which is a notable increase compared to the previous period.

Under the Recovery and Resilience Bulgaria will get funding for encouragement of technological and ecological transfer of the agriculture sector - USD 500 m, digitalization of processes – from the farm to the table – USD 12 and Biodiversity - USD 60 m.

Once available Bulgarian farmers will be able to tap into EU funding and buy new equipment which is an opportunity for U.S. suppliers.

U.S. Agribusiness in Bulgaria

Major U.S. agricultural machinery and equipment leaders present in Bulgaria include the following: John Deere, Titan Machinery, Trimble, Valmont, Precision Planting, Lindsay, Hunter, T-L Irrigation Systems, AGCO, Equipment Technologies/Apache Sprayers etc. and expanding their footprint for the benefit of upgrading the local agribusiness landscape.

The largest corn-processing facility in Southeastern Europe processing 800,000 MT of corn each year is based in Bulgaria and owned and operated by U.S. global leader Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). ADM invested USD 200 m to double the capacity of the plant to include producing pharma grade ethanol and renewable energy.

The U.S. Commercial Service in Sofia and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) work together to monitor Bulgarian commodities and assist U.S. agricultural exporters in entering the local market. Refer to the section Agricultural Sector in this Country Commercial Guide for more information on the USDA/FAS and their reports.

EU Standards and Conformity

EU markets are subject to an extensive EU regulatory regime. U.S. agricultural equipment exporters need to ensure that their products receive the “CE” mark in order to sell in any of the 28 EU member states. The CE mark is applied to products that conform to relevant EU legislation and is able to move freely within the European single market.

U.S. products must also comply with other EU directives and regulations such as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restrictions of Chemicals), WEEE (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive), RoHS (the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive), and others depending on the product imported. EU standards and conformity regimes (not all are listed here), important in obtaining the CE mark, present challenges for U.S. exporters. While it is theoretically possible to use other standards to meet essential requirements, U.S. manufacturers report that in practice the costs and uncertainty associated with not using EU-recognized standards can be prohibitive. An experienced agent or distributor can assist in navigating EU standards. 

Agribusiness Best Prospects

Tractors, Root Crop Harvesting Equipment, Tillage Equipment and Handling Equipment 

The sales of new agricultural equipment in Bulgaria is highly dependent on EU funding support. 2021 was a somewhat good year for US-made equipment sold in Bulgaria and U.S. brands enjoyed healthy exports compared to the German, Italian and Turkish brands. The global COVID-19 crisis, however also played negative impact with delayed deliveries and deferred payment. Investing in new equipment and new market niches include solutions for precision farming, IT, and other innovative services continues to drive the market growth.

Irrigation Systems

Irrigation equipment and expected EU financial resources will be available. Private investment in the irrigation sub-sector is on the rise and several pilot projects have been completed – some with U.S. technology and equipment. Local farmers are interested in purchasing equipment from international companies that can provide excellent after-sales service, spare parts, and on-demand maintenance and repair.

Innovation and Technology in Agribusiness

Precision farming, autonomous combines and sprayers, precision planting and the use of drones are all rapidly transforming Bulgaria’s agricultural sector as Bulgarian farmers are quickly embracing new technologies and services designed to help farmers maximize the benefits and advantages of forecasting yields and making planting corrections in real-time. U.S. exporters are encouraged to get ahead of the competition and market their innovative products through a reliable representative.

Trade Events in Bulgaria in 2023

BATA AGRO https://bata-agro.com/en/ May, 2023 (exact dates TBD) 

Organized by the Bulgarian Association of Traders of Agromachinery the exhibition is the largest annual Bulgarian trade show with focus on agricultural machinery, irrigation systems, wood and wood processing and other related agribusiness goods, services, and solutions. 


https://www.investbg.government.bg/en (Invest Bulgaria Agency)

http://www.mee.government.bg/ (Ministry of Economy

U.S. Commercial Service Sofia Contact Information

Name: Milko Minev

Position: Commercial Specialist 

Email: milko.minev@trade.gov  

Phone: +359-2-937-5145