Ministry of Agriculture and Food
The history of today’s Ministry of Agriculture and Foods starts back in 1879, when in pursuance of Article 161 of the Constitution, as adopted by the Founding National Assembly in Veliko Tarnovo provided for the establishment of seven ministries, including the ministry of common buildings, agriculture and trade. After vehement discussions the first National Assembly voted that the number of the ministries will be six, whereas the ministry of common buildings, agriculture and trade, in the words of Petko Karavelov, "will integrate as it may be proper". Thus, in pursuance of Decree №23 of 9 August 1879, the administration of the agricultural affairs in the Principality of Bulgaria was put under the helm of the Ministry of Finance, which forms an internal unit for state property along with raw materials. Its sub-governor was appointed to be Ivan Dimov Goshev.
In pursuance of Decree №463 of 1882, there is a second attempt to found the ministry of common buildings, agriculture and trade, but two and a half years later its functions are terminated on the grounds of being incompliant with the superimposing provisions of the Tarnovo Constitution.
The Fourth Great National Assembly suggested an amendment to the Tarnovo Constitution with regard also to Article 161 defining the number of the Bulgarian ministries. Hence, issue 107 of the State Gazette dated 25 May 1893 promulgates Proclamation of Tsar Ferdinand to the Bulgarian People for the establishment of the first legal Ministry of Trade and Agriculture. In pursuance of Decree №5 dated 19 November 1893, Panayot Slavkov was appointed its first minister. Immediately after stepping into office, Minister Slavkov submitted for consideration at the National Assembly 2 bills – the first planning the funds required for the structural organization of the Ministry of Trade and Agriculture, and the second bill that provided for the allotment of interest-free to poor farmers and farms suffering from hailstorm. The competences of the newly established the Ministry of Trade and Agriculture cover the majority of national economic sectors, such as agriculture, cattle breeding, forests, waters, mines, crafts, industry, domestic and international trade, professional agricultural and crafts schools.
In 1895 the ministry indulged also with social policy, by forming agricultural funds whose administration and management is in the hands of the ministry itself. After the establishment of the Bulgarian Agricultural Bank in 1904, the ministry takes on the control and supervision on the bank’s activities as well.
With the amendment of the Tarnovo Constitution in 1911, the Ministry of Trade and Agriculture is closed and replaced with the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property. It was headed by Dimitar Hristov, the last minister of the previous Ministry of Trade and Agriculture. The organizational structure of the new ministry includes 6 directorates – agriculture, veterinary, forests, hunting and fishing, waters and state property.
The latest change in the name of the ministry is made in pursuance of a decision of the 40-th National Assembly adopted on 24 April 2008, under which it was renamed Ministry of Agriculture and Foods.
Valeri Tsvetanov is the 71-th Minister of Agriculture in the entire 115-year history of the ministry.
His predecessors include some of the most prominent Bulgarian politicians – Dragan Tsankov, Petko Karavelov, Grigor Nachovich, Ivan Evstatiev Geshov, Andrey Liapchev, Rayko Daskalov, Konstantin Velichkov, etc.