Blagoevgrad Okrug

Blagoevgrad Okrug

 

administrative and territorial unit in Bulgaria. Area, 6,500 sq km. Population, 308,000 (1968). The administrative center is Blagoevgrad. The terrain is mainly mountainous: the Pirin Mountains, the southern part of the Rila Mountains, and the western spurs of the Rhodope Mountains. The valleys between mountains, drained by the Struma and Mesta rivers and possessing a warm climate and fertile soils, have since olden times been important agricultural regions of the country. About one-half of the okrug’s territory is covered with forests (pine, oak, beech, chestnut); the upper belt of the mountains has meadow pastures (one-third of the Bulgarian high-altitude pastures). About 16 percent of the okrug’s territory is under cultivation; some of the cultivated lands are irrigated. The major agricultural crop is tobacco (about 20 percent of the total Bulgarian harvest and export); early vegetables are grown and horticulture is practiced, as well as pasture animal husbandry (cattle and sheep). The okrug produces lignite, lumber, tobacco, food products (especially canned fruit), and electrical equipment.

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