Plovdiv region is located in the central part of South Bulgaria covering 5 977.5 km 2 and the population is 671 573 inhabitants, that represents about 5.4 % of the territory of the country and 9.4 % of the total population, respectively. The region comprises of 224 settlements, 57.8 % agricultural areas and 31.2 % forest areas with transitionally continental climate, while the upland areas have a mountainous one. Because of the fertile soils, a large number of crops are grown in the studied area (more than 100 kinds).
In the region, there are 550-570 mm of precipitation annually with significant evapotranspiration and 400 mm deficit in the balance of atmospheric humidity for the vegetation period. The main drainage artery is the Maritsa River and its tributaries. It is of great importance for the South East Balkans’ and especially for Plovdiv region’s economy. In the last few years, about 15.4 % of the total amount of the river water are used for irrigation purposes.
Seven higher educational institutions and several research institutes are situated in the regional center – Plovdiv, the most important of which are in agriculture and the food and industry.