No 29 (2008)

Published July 28, 2008

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Articles

The institutional background of local sustainability strategies
7-13

The system of local sustainability strategies is shaped by the intentions of the central government and local initiatives together. From the aspect of the hierarchy of government organization in Hungary it means that there are institutions on the central government’s side – different ministries or other governmental institutions – the rol...e of which is mainly coordination; and local governments (regional and local as well) also form their institutions at the municipality.
It is important to examine the institutional background, as in Hungary the formation of sustainability policy is still in its infancy, so it is well worth taking the institutional background of countries the circumstances of which are similar to ours and have successful sustainability policies as a basis. In this presentation I will examine whether the top-down or the bottom-up approach is chosen, which institution is in charge of the process, what the legal background is like, and what sources are available for use in these countries.

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comparison of agricultural income in Hungary and the New Federal States of Germany
15-24

There are a lot of literatures that investigate the agricultural transition both in Hungary and former GDR. However there is no one, which examines and compares the income situation in the above mentioned countries. The aim of this article is to analyse that. The investigation is based on the data of Economic Accounts for Agriculture (EAA). The... result shows that the agricultural income is much higher in the New Federal States of Germany if we take into account the subsidies, however without subsidies it would be higher in Hungary.

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Pricing in the pig production
25-29

During my research work I will exame the state of pig production and the pigmeat trade in Hungary as well as in the EU. In this article I am looking at this branch, I plan to ask consumers about this topic. There is no point in importing pork if there is no market for it. The reality is that we like what is new, unusual and different. What lies... behind this way of thinking?
Everybody agrees, consumer habits differ culturally, and this is true in European countries as well. I find it interesting to examine what parts of the pig are favoured the most by consumers in certain countries. As habits are different we can say that certain countries prefer pork chops while on other countries’ menus pork knuckles can be found. If we follow this train of thought it becomes apparent that due to these differences the price of pork varies from country to country.
According to figures, it is clear that certain countries are able to produce pork products cheaper. Since market works on the principle of supply and demand, those who offer their products cheaper will have a greater chance of remaining in this sector. Those on the other hand who can only produce their products at a higher price will eventually disappear from the market. The price is determined by the rate of the forint to the euro. Today’s strong forint is leading to the growth in imports. Recently, pork exports have fallen, but if the rate were to be 280 forints as it has been in the past, then it would be more favourable to sell pork products.
As Hungarian prices are high, meat processing companies are forced to import from neighbouring countries, which means a cheaper source of product. This has led to a decrease in the number of pig in Hungary meaning that we are now an overall importer of pork products rather than an exporter.

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Present situation and future prospects for Hungarian fruit and vegetable sector
31-38

Changes in people’s lifestyles and the emergence of nutritional science have created favorable opportunities for a boom in fruit and vegetable consumption, which have been fully exploited by the adaptive fruit producer and exporter countries. Unfortunately, Hungary is not one of these countries. Affected by a number of uncertainty factors, th...e Hungarian fruit and vegetable sector has fallen behind international trends, seeking opportunities for survival (Erdész, 2007).
The impacts of the country’s accession to the EU have been more adverse than expected. While no administrative measures are used to control production and the increasing competition and import have put Hungarian producers to a loosing position. The cooperation producers, the well-organized work of professionals and the coordinated activity of producers marketing organizations may resolved some of the problems affecting the sector.
The fruit and vegetable sector can also anticipate significant changes during the new seven-years budget period of the CAP reform.
With the new drat reform of the sector, the European Commission intends to simplify the common organization of the fruit and vegetable market, improve competitiveness, increase market orientation, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and to continue the environmental efforts.
Hungary has had great expectations concerning the reform of market regulation, but the Commission proposal didn’t bear out the expectations, because the new proposal includes insignificant changes in important issues and fails to provide sufficient additional resources for the catching up of he new member states.

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A study of the changes in management tasks
39-44

Determining the scope of management is difficult owing to the terminological uncertainty, which can be experienced often. The terms of management theory are interpreted differently not only by the general public but also by the highly recognised specialists, researchers, and instructors of this special area. The reasons for this can be found in... historical preliminaries, the different social environment, attitude and approach. The definitions and the content of the terms have been modified and developed in parallel with the social and economic changes (Berde, 2001). The consequences of the economic changes of the past decade have significantly affected the conditions for the operation of management, the management structures, the ranking and importance of management tasks. The differentiating of corporate sizes, the increase in the number of small and medium-sized enterprises, the simplification of the production structure, the decrease in management levels, the strengthening of proprietary positions, and the continuous changing of the market economic environment are all influences that also affect, determine and continuously modify the management tasks.
Everyone knows what a manager does. Still, it is not easy to determine what it does all day as his or her work is such a complex activity where the management tasks are present in a complex way, weaved into each other. Nevertheless, the separate management tasks appearing in the management activity can be defined well, can be separated from each other clearly, enabling us to study and analyse each management task separately.
Based upon the findings of a face-to-face questionnaire survey, this essay aims to present that, according to the managers, to what extent the judgement of management tasks has changed and to what extent the applied management tasks specialise based upon the extent of relation to the company.

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Prospects of tobacco sector due to changing of union subsidy system
45-51

Some 80% of the revenues from tobacco production originate from subsidies, therefore the existence of the tobacco industry basically depends on the system of subsidies. According to the current position, in the transitional period of introduction of the CAP reform (from 2006 to 2009) at least 40% of tobacco premiums shall be decoupled from the ...production, while the tobacco producing member states may decide to continue to pay the remaining 60% (or a less rate, depending on the rate of decoupling) in a coupled form. Tobacco premiums shall be fully decoupled as from the 2010 crop, however farmers will be eligible only for 50% of the subsidies, and the rest 50% shall be used for subsidising rural developments in tobacco producing regions (Radóczné, 2007).
This change affects the section very seriously. In EU-15 member states this system was introduced in 2006, which resulted in giving up tobacco growing by high percentage of the farmers (70-80% reduction of tobacco production in Greece and Belgium, and 45% reduction in Portugal). In Hungary – due to the small scale of the tobacco section – this rate reduction in production would jeopardise the existence of the section, therefore we are interested in maintaining the existing system of coupled subsidies to as a large extent and for as long time as possible.
This study shows the possibility of tobacco sector before and after introducing the changes in the system of subsidies, and formulates the most serious problems and roles of the sector.

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Bioenergy production: are the objects realistic??
53-58

Currently we do not have the possibility to define our energy reserves, since we do not know the magnitude of extant material resources. The known petroleum (crude) supply will be sufficient for about 100 years at the longest, and according to the latest estimates in 2008 we will reach and even exceed the maximum level of oil extraction, and af...ter this it is going to decrease.
Hungary has good givens to go upon the way of sustainable energy economy according to experts, however a coherent government policy that lasts for not just one period is essential, and a sound economic- and agricultural policy is needed as well. According to the FVM’s under-secretary in Hungary more than 1 million hectares can be disposable for energy crop production. This would mean that 20 percent of the fields would be taken away from food production and on these fields energy crops would be grown. But we also have to take into consideration that the increase in energy plant production could happen at the expense of food production. If we would like to ensure the food for Hungary’s population from national sources we have to make calculations in determining energy need. In my research I set out the objective to determine the level of that specific turnover and marginal cost which supports the profitability of grain cultivation. With these indicators it is possible to analyze the economy and competitiveness of growing energy crops in the region of the North Plain. The alternatives of using cereals and rational land use should be also considered. A developing bio-fuel program can be a solution for the deduction of excess grain that is typical in Hungary for several years in the cereals sector. The pressure on the national market caused by excess grain can be ceased or moderated, and therefore the storage problems would decrease as well.

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How can we determine the expected prices for lambs? – Analysis of the Hungarian and Italian lamb prices
59-67

The Hungarian sheep sector has become a one-market sector, almost the whole amount of slaughter lamb went to Italy, which increased its defenselessness. In addition to the sole Italian market showing a permanent demand for Hungarian lambs, it would worth to exploit possibilities in other European markets considering the seasonal differences in ...Italian prices. Such markets can be the Spanish and Greek for ”light” and the French, German and English markets for ”heavy” lambs. Both the Italian and Hungarian prices have three major periods: Easter, Ferragusto and Christmas. Due to the changes in the prices, the producers often suffer great losses, therefore, the temporal adaptation of production, market research, technological and development activities need to be improved. It is important that the living of Hungarian sheep breeders should not be dependent solely upon the Italian market, distribution of products should be ensured in other markets too, so that the safety of sales be increased and higher prices and higher income could be achieved. The European lamb prices are characterized by large seasonal fluctuation and the degree and timing of changes are different in the different countries. Study of the literature and the results obtained in my study on lamb sales called for an analysis and study of the possibilities of price forecasting. In my study, I performed a forecasting of lamb prices in Hungary and Italy for the period between 1996 and 2006 based on the data of the European Committee. Among the forecasting methods, seasonal decomposition and SARIMA models are the most precise, producers can achieve a better market position by using these in the practice.

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Applied EDI technologies in food traceability
69-74

Due to globalisation, the new technological developments and the complexity of food supply processes, the European food sector is increasingly becoming more complex. The consumers’ trust in food, triggered and affected by a number of food crises, is low. Today, consumers increasingly expect safe and high quality food and demand information ab...out the origin of their food. Also, economic health of food industry can be greatly affected by food crises; therefore efficient and effective mechanisms are required to assist food industry in tracking and tracing products along the food chain. In this paper we discuss the criteria for efficient and effective traceability system from an IT perspective (mainly data exchange) and we identify key requirements for ICT enabled traceability.

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Evaluation of the Green bean variety candidate BU-16
75-81

This study presents the results of the variety comparison trials conducted with the French bean variety candidate BU-16 on sandy soil, during two years at the Research Center of the University of Debrecen.
The outstanding characteristics of this variety candidate are the early maturity, the showy pods (yellow, straight, cylindrical cross-sec...tion „pencil bean”) and the high yield potential.
The experiments were conducted with a randomized design, with five varieties and four replications. The varieties (of which two are foreign and three are domestic) were as follows: BU-16 fj, Maxidor, Paridor, Hungold and Budai piaci. The individual plots were 2 m wide and 4 m long. The seeds were sown at a density of 30 germs per m2, with a row spacing of 50 cm.
The following parameters were taken: time of flowering, time of green maturity, plant height, height of the lowest pod above ground level, number of pods per plant, distribution of the pods by the state of development (20 plants), usable pod length (1 kg of standard crop-yield), yield per hectare based on the number of plants per plot. The experiments were evaluated statistically with Excel and SPSS softwares.
Results obtained with the variety candidate BU-16:
– The time from the emergence to green maturity is 45 to 46 days, which is short as compared with the other cultivars studied.
– Plant height is 38cm (two years average), which is among the highest ones, together with Paridor.
– The pods are set high above the ground level similarly to Paridor, the height of the lowest pod is 19 cm.
– The average number of pods per plant is 13 (two years average) similarly to Paridor and to Maxidor.
– The distribution of pod size in 2007 is as follows: 68% of the pods of BU-16 is of the standars size, which is a good rate. The value of this trait for the other varieties is 60 to 63%, except for Paridor, the value of which is similar to that of BU-16.
– The usable pod length (10 to 14 cm) is 63% in 2007 and 84% in 2006. Similar pod length rates were obtained for Maxidor, while the rate for Paridor is as high as 91%.
– The total yield and the standard yield of BU-16 is among the highest ones.
According to the results obtained and presented above, the variety candidate BU-16 is the earliest maturing among the varieties tested with high yield potential which, however, is not significantly different from that of the others. Significant differences can only be detected in plant height and the number of pods per plant. Considering the results, BU-16 is to be further tested.

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Economic policy strategy of UNITAB
83-90

Under the leadership of the International Association of Tobacco Producers – UNITAB – there is a struggle going on for stabilizing the situation of European tobacco growers. UNITAB unites the tobacco associations and tobacco growers of all EU countries.
Tobacco production ensures economic stability for more than 100 thousand small- and m...edium-sized farms in the rural areas of 10 EU countries. In addition, its social importance in the survival of rural communities is emphasized by the 400 thousand direct or related seasonal jobs.
Within the framework of the CAP reform, the European Union is gradually changing the regulations of production. This is based on the decoupling of subsidies, which will be implemented in two phases. Between 2006 and 2009. the decoupling will be 40% and then after 2010, 50% (the other 50% will be used for restructuring within the second pillar). The question is raised, how will the second 50% be restructured to the second pillar. Between regions and how it can be ensured that this support would go to tobacco production.
With its participation in the principles of the European Tobacco Charta, UNITAB targets for production under economically-balanced conditions, the production of products meeting the customer requirements, consideration of the working conditions (especially for seasonal workers) and adherence to the health regulations related to the consumption of the end product already in the production and environmental protection. They aim to ensure the survival of the sector via tobacco growing with sustainable development and high quality. To maintain the continuity, there is a need for the support of regional, national and EU authorities. Future of the sector is dependent upon adaptation of tobacco growers and upon meeting the social expectations.
According to UNITAB, efforts should be made to modify the decisions so that the majority of the funding could be used by the grower. The tobacco industry has been able to effectively fight for its survival.

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The examination of human resources in the Hódmezővásárhely micro-region on the basis of human resource hierarchy
91-110

In this paper, I deal with the examination of the situation and change of human resources through the human resource hierarchy. My research covers the Hódmezővásárhely micro-region, which includes four settlements, two towns (Hódmezővásárhely as the centre of the area and Mindszent) and two villages (Mártély and Székkutas). Based on ...population density the micro-region is qualified as a rural territory, which is underpinned by the micro-region’s market town and homestead like character.
I took the human resource system of Cloke and Park (1985) published in their book of Rural Resource Management as a basis of my examination and I pursued my research in consideration of Fehér’s (2005) researches related to rural economy. The system of human resources provided a hierarchical and logical framework for my examination. In the course of the research I made analyses along the three levels of human resources concerning the micro-region and its settlements.
During the examination of the human resources of the Hódmezővásárhely micro-region I pointed out some negative changes and situations which unfavourably influence the socio-economic processes of the territory and its settlements. All this reveal that the human resources are not only factors of the economy of the micro-region as a rural economy but at the same time they are areas to be developed. The living standard (welfare) of the people living in the area and their quality of life (well-being) depend on the development and level of the different dimensions of the human resources largely. For that very reason there is a need for coordinated development of the human resources and the related fields with respect to the cause-effect relations.
My research contributes to the better cognition of rural resources of the Hódmezővásárhely micro-region, without this a rational improvement and sustainable development of the micro-region and its settlements based on inner resources cannot be imagined.

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Analysis of organic farming’s economic viability at different subsidy levels
111-118

Applying a data-collection-based economic model, I analyzed the economic viability of organic farming at different subsidy levels. The database is concentrated on the Hortobagy region. On the basis of data, I built an average sized and operated organic farm model with both arable land cultivation and animal keeping activities. The analysis of v...iability is based on gross profit calculation and compared with the criteria of the long-term economic viability, determined by the author. This study summarizes the most important results of the analysis.

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Hungary’s correspondence with the EU regulations regarding liquid bio fuels
119-128

During the recent years researchers from different countries have found that our environment is at risk. It has been recognised by the leaders of the member countries and they have made decisions together concerning environmental protection in several agreements, contracts. Unfortunately, these decisions have been weakened and adumbrated on num...erous occasions by certain interests.
However, the energetic exploitation of the biomass has been supported by the economic and social changes of the previous years, more specifically, that of the bio fuels. The significant increase in the price of the traditional energy sources, the import dependency of the countries, the foreseeable exhaustion of the resources, the changes occurred due to joining the EU are all such problems that facilitates the application of bio fuels, as a good solution.
Our country decided to modify the then existed bio fuel component rate of 2% to 5.75% which has to be achieved by 2010. Since then, in March 2007 it has been expanded to 10% until 2020 (concerning energy content). This decision was taken knowing that this year (2006) the bio fuel rate has been 0.5%. However, the rate of 2% has not been achieved even in the EU. One can understand that the implementation cannot be fulfilled without significant political decisions and support. The main reason for this is that the price of bio fuels is not competitive with the present fossil-origin energy prices in Hungary. So in 2007 several regulations were modified. The most important one is perhaps the regulation of the revenue tax, which caused the successful tax-differentiation concerning bio fuels in more member states between 2007 and 2008. Its essence is that the revenue tax is not decreased, but if the fuel does not contain a bio fuel component of 4.4 bulking percentage per litre, „punishment” tax has to be paid. Moreover, on behalf of the implementation, regulations concerning bio fuels and bio fuel components are improving
At present the production and the application of bio fuels without any support are not economical yet. That is why it is important to emphasize the support policy of our country. After joining the Union, the new members can receive some shares from the direct disbursements, but only a tan increasing rate, we can achieve the 100% in 2013, though there is an opportunity for national contribution. Energy plants produced in agriculture receive separate supplementary support which is an advantageous opportunity for the farmers of the sector. Bio fuels cannot only be supported through agriculture, of course, but by research development, investment etc.
All in all, it can be concluded that Hungary seeks to fulfil the EU responsibilities taken and by this, to contribute to the maintenance of the sustainable progress, decrease of environmental pollution and the import dependency of energy sources.

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Practical experiences in Moodle LMS
129-133

We use Moodle at the University of Debrecen, Business- and Agricultural Department since January 2007. Moodle is an open source Learning Management System.
Learning Management System (or LMS) is a software package that enables the management and delivery of learning content and resources to students. Most LMS systems are web-based to facilit...ate "anytime, anywhere" access to learning content and administration. LMS tracks student progress in a course and indicates completions. At the least, learning management systems track individual student progress, record scores of quizzes and tests within an online learning program, and track course completions.
Moodle has more and more function at our Department in education. At present, we work to introduce Moodle in our Faculty. Therefore, we took lessons for the tutors about the usage of the Moodle. Our aim to develop such a learning system, which is an integral part of educational process.

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Tourism and sustainability in Hungary
135-143

Sustainable development is a very popular conception since many years. In practice there could be many difficulties.
Economic, social and ecological systems are too complex to see all the consequences clearly. After all, sustainable criteria are indispensable for responsible planning.
Tourism is one of the world’s dynamically developing... economic sectors. But according to this development, we have to confront with a lot of negative effects, like air pollution, or mass. With globalization, the opportunities for tourism increase: thanks to modern transport, places which were too far to be accessible before are now able to be reached. But there are consequences to this expansion. Unfortunately, growth e.g. in air transport causes considerable environmental damage.
In today’s fast-paced world, the sanctity of nature, a soundproof environment, clean air and rural life have become increasingly important. With the growth of demand and tourism globalized, these values can damage or disappear in a short time.  So, in tourism, it is vital to project development plans with sustainable principles.
Just as other countries, in Hungary, the development of sustainable tourism is slowly becoming a priority. Fortunately, in plans for the next few years, there appear more concrete ideas on ways to make sustainable tourism grow.
In my study, I assess Hungary’s position in sustainable tourism, examining how sustainable tourism indicators fit in sustainable development indicators and how can we measure aims of sustainable tourism.

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Hungarian total foreign trade after the change of regime
145-154

Hungary’s total foreign trade has changed a lot since the change of regime. Several factors played a role in this process. The collapse of COMECOM, set of the world economy, WTOagreement, Agreement of Accession and CEFTA-agreement and accession to the EU affected this situation. After the change of regime Hungary had to react rapidly to these... new events: one of the most goals was to find new markets. Hungary’s total foreign trade balance is negative but this deficit has declined after EUaccession. The foreign trade in agriculture has realised positive balance for a long time. This balance is declining after 2004, in spite of that the agricultural export grows, but the import grows more dynamically.
Share of the Visegrad countries – join at the same time to the European Union as Hungary – from Hungarian agriculture exports gets higher, especially in the case of Poland.
Hungary’s trading partners of exports and imports are stabile and they come from old Member States. One hand is positive, but the other hand is not acceptable. It is important to get markets, because we strongly depend on Europe.
The situation of Hungary’s external trade is determined by the future of CAP and WTO Doha Round (reducing of agricultural customs, ceasing of export subvention system and etc.).
Hungary can keep in competition, if it extends its competitiveness, diminishes of costs, and improves of quality, logistic and marketing.

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The study of environment-conscious attitudes in the food-industry companies of the Northern-Plain Region
155-163

that the world of business, profit and work is not a hermetically closed area, but is in interaction with its closer and wider surroundings, ultimately with society and the natural environment.
The affectedness of each sector and company varies. To be able to tackle these problems, first and foremost the commitment of companies towards envir...onmentally conscious attitude is necessary, which can form as a result of inner obligation or outer pressure. Thus companies will be concerned to measure and quantify the environmental effects of all activities.
Some of the companies have already given their votes for environment-protection. Both internationally and at home it seems that the responsible leaders of more and more companies build social, human rights and environmental protection considerations in the objects and values of the company apart from profit maximization.
In my thesis I present the data gathered from a questionnaire survey carried out with food-industry companies in the Northern-Plain Region. The aim of the survey was to evaluate the commitment of companies towards environmental protection via solid data. The fact that more than half of the respondents found the positive effects of environmental protection of little importance and that environmental protection was the last among the aims of some companies reflected greatly in the following outcomes.

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The relationship between the organizational culture and the individual attitude, particulary the question of individualism and collectivism
165-170

There is considerable consensus regarding the development of organizational culture; namely, that culture is the result of socialization, evolving through a social learning process. However, the mechanism of the process itself, along with the factors influencing it, raises a number of questions that are researched by different schools of though...t. Some of the contextual factors that affect the development of culture, such as the characteristics of national culture or charismatic and other dominant people as role models, seem to be quite influential, especially when other influential factors affect these as well. Value analysis can be helpful for understanding the essence of organizational culture, and it can reveal underlying, hidden phenomena. The results of these studies depict organizational culture as a list of values or as a hierarchy. Values carry emotions as well, that may refer to their link with attitudes and to the fact that the two can be mixed up. The latest innovations in action and thought were the results of the political changes of the 1990s whose implications can be identified in both individual and national values. Changes of views and attitudes also emerge in the changes of collectivist-individualistic thinking and values which become part of the organizational culture and value structure according to value-centered analyses. The changing values define and influence our own opinions, identity, and, in turn, our behavior. Values reflected by our behavior and actions are to be guided by the harmony of individual, organizational, and national value systems. The lack of this synergy results in the dissonance of contrastive values and blocks actions. This, in turn, interferes with individual productivity and thus slows down organizational productivity as well. Our goal should be the synergy of values which creates the harmony of individual thinking and behavior since this harmony is the basis of success and productivity.

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Economics of broiler fattening in Hungary
171-180

The purpose of this study is to present economic circumstances of Hungarian broiler sector based on secondary data after brief introduction of international and home situations. Then it analyzes costs, revenues and profit relationships of producers, which has competitive efficiency indicators and high standard production based on a model create...d on the basis of primary data.
The paper confirms the Hungarian poultry sector international competitiveness falling. One important reason of this situation is the low profitability in the sector, which is typical of both farms produce under worse efficiency indicators and high standard producers. Beside lack of technological standards and efficiency, adverse trend of output and input price – mainly feed price – impact low profitability.
Realization of technological developments and improvements according to international tendency, which affect directly or indirectly the efficiency and costs of broiler fattening are determining in point of realizable profit

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The role of Local wine administration bodies in creating social and cultural capital and in the preservation of local identity
181-191

the target for the European Union to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. In this process, the education and training are of great importance for the member states. The restructuring of higher education, the modernization of the universities cannot be achieved without new financial resources. They s...hould be ensured by increasing contribution of the private sector. However it is not enough to invest sufficient funds in the educational and training system, they must be expended efficiently. The free higher education itself does
not necessarily guarantee the equal access and maximal participation. The quality of higher education and equal opportunity can be improved, if the rising funds are expended on infrastructure development and creating an efficiently working student support system.
Quality, equal opportunity, efficiency – they are the most important views for the decision-makers in the higher education reform. In my paper, I would like to interpret definitions relating to higher education and in this way I attempt to evaluate the financing systems of the Hungarian higher education formed since the change of the regime, with special regards to the normative financial system combined with the payment of tuition fees. For classification, it is necessary to present the different basic financial models. Furthermore, on the basis of the above criteria, I try to make recommendations on how to improve the present financial model in order to achieve the Lisbon objectives.
The topic is important in our days, because tuition fees will be introduced in Hungary from 2008. The problem is very complex, although the analysts in most cases tend to approach the topic with prejudice, depending on their financial and political interests. My analysis may contribute to discernment in the tangle of the pros and cons. 

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