Hungary is traditionally a food producer country. 63% of its total land area can be cultivated. Horticulture is one of the fundamental agricultural branches. The country has a moderate continental climate, with a mean temperature of 10 °C. The average hours of sunshine ranges 1,700 to 2,100 hours. Under the geographical condition in the Carpat...hian Basin the chemical composition of the fruits has a good harmony. The total fruit acreage is 97,000 ha with a crop of 800,000 to 900,000 tons yearly. In 1982 1,934,000 tons of fruit crop were produced since then it has decreased. The most important fruits are apple, European plum, sour cherry and raspberry. The percentage of apple reaches almost up to 60%. In the new plantings sour cherry, apple and black elderberry is popular. The most important fruit-producing region is situated at the North-eastern part of the country. More than 40% of Hungary's fruit production is concentrated there. In ranking the 2nd place is taken by fruit growing area in the middle of Hungary, where the production of stone fruits and small fruits has a considerable proportion.
In the 70s and 80s of last century there was a developed research structure and wide range of research activity in Hungary. From that time the research capacity has considerably decreased first of all in the field of technological development. The main research area is fruit breeding and variety evaluation.
Fruit scientists and fruit grower specialists are held together by the Hungarian. Society for Horticultural Sciences which has a membership in ISHS. Fruit researches and scientists having academic degree are belonged to the Horticultural Board of Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
In this present study the efficiency as well as the farm economic advantages and disadvantages of elderberry production are examined. Our objective is to determine the fact that under what conditions the elderberry production may be profitable regarding the present economic and market situations. Our analysis was carried out by a simulation mod...el based on a farm-level data gathering in production enterprises. The total investment cost of an up-to-date, elderberry orchard of traditionally cultivated without irrigation is between 1000 to 1700 thousand HUF per one hectare and turning to productivity is expected within 4-5th years. These orchards are able to produce yields of 8,0 to 9,0 tons per one hectare in the average of the productive years, which makes reaching a revenue of 800 to 1000 thousand HUF possible regarding a per kg average selling price of 80 to 110 HUF. By this a net profit of 200 to 400 thousand HUF may be realized in case of a per hectare production cost of 600 to 700 thousand HUF. At the end of the lifetime of the orchard (12-15th year) an internal rate of return of 10 to 4%, an NPV of 1500 to 2000 thousand HUF per one hectare are typical in an average case, and the payback may be expected in the 6th to 8th year. From the farm economic aspect the elderberry may be considered as an extensive sector, which advantages are low capital and labour need, early recovery, good-acceptable profit on capital and cost to profit ratios, but its disadvantage is low per hectare profit comparing to intensive fruit species and orchards. In this way in general farms of capital-extensive and avoiding risks choose elderberry production.