In SoHO, Sofia, Bulgaria an award ceremony for innovative farms was held on Friday, May 16th 2019. 

Venelin Dobrev from the SZREDA, Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency, Bulgaria, gave a presentation of the activities and results of the INNOGROW project, co-funded by the INTERREG Europe program, during the award ceremony of innovative farms as part of the "Future Leaders of Agriculture" campaign that promotes the EU Common Agricultural Policy.  

Venelin Dobrev presented the INNOGROW project, the problems the project aims to solve, the ongoing development of the project activities and shared some good practices that would improve the competitiveness of Bulgarian small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas. He emphasized the importance for farmers of co-operating and closing the production cycle. In his words, over 80% of innovation comes from cooperation. He gave as examples good practices from Greece and Italy, where people realized they needed to work together if they wanted to survive and develop.

The INNOGROW project aims to provide regional support to engage small and medium-sized enterprises in the rural economy in the implementation of innovation. Usually small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas have great difficulty in adopting and integrating innovations in order to increase their competitiveness. Regional policies should address and support, respectively, the dissemination of innovative solutions and new business models that would lead to productivity gains and provide access to new markets.