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Introduction. Most of suggested and practically used framework for assessing the agrarian sustainability include three pillars – economic, social, and environmental. In recent years a new “fourth” governance pillar of sustainability has been introduced in academic literature and appeared in official documents of governmental, international, professional and business organizations. Nevertheless, the elaboration of the approach for assessing the governance sustainability of agriculture still is at the beginning stage. This article suggests a holistic framework for assessing the new governance pillar of agrarian sustainability.

Materials and methods. A framework of new evolving interdisciplinary methodologies of Sustainable Development and the New Institutional Economics has been incorporated and a holistic system comprising of well-defined principles, criteria, indicators and reference values used for assessing governance sustainability of Bulgarian agriculture at national and (sub)sectoral (industry) levels.

Results. Multi-principle, multi-criteria and multi-indicators assessment indicates that the Overall Governance Sustainability of Bulgarian agriculture is at a “Good” but very close to the “Satisfactory” level. Besides, there is a considerable differentiation in the level of Integral Governance sustainability of different agro-industries in the country. What is more, the individual indicators with the highest and lowest sustainability values determine the “critical” factors enhancing and deterring the particular and integral Governance sustainability of evaluated agro-system.

Conclusion. Holistic assessments of governance and overall sustainability are important for improving the management of agrarian sustainability in general, and the Governance sustainability of agriculture in particular. Therefore, they are to be expended and their precision and representation increased. The later requires improvement of the precision through enlargement of surveyed farms and stakeholders, and incorporating more “objective” data from surveys, statistics, expertise of professionals in the area, etc.

Keywords: governance sustainability, assessment, agriculture, subsectors, Bulgaria

For citation: Bachev, H. (2020). About the governance pillar of agrarian sustainability. Economic consultant, 32 (4), 16-27. doi: 10.46224/ecoc.2020.4.3


Information about the author: 

Hrabrin I. Bachev (Bulgaria, Sofia) – Professor, PhD. Institute of Agricultural Economics (Sofia). E-mail: hbachev@yahoo.com. ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0555-7468. Scopus ID: 6508164329. Reseacher ID: D-7634-2012

Received: Sep 2, 2020 | Accepted: Nov 6, 2020 | Published: Dec 1, 2020
Editor: Andrey B. Kondrashikhin, Professor, Doctor of Economics. Academy of Municipal Administration, UKRAINE.
Copyright: © 2020 Bachev, H. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.