The recession after the political changes in Hungary dramatically hit the cross-border regions which economies were neglected even in the communist times. In this paper I focused on the introduction of four small regions near the Hungarian-Ukranian border. I tried to analyse the aptitude of this regions and the capability of joining the cross-border co-operation. According to my analysis, these small regions are facing exceptionally serious, partly interited and new emerging problems as far as the employment, the qualification of labour, the standard of
infrastructure are concerned. These problems even deteriorate the further development possibilities. I also focused on the most imminent development tasks facing the small regions falling behind.
Agriculture has played a dominant role among the income sources of population living along the Hortobágy just like in any other rural areas. I represent the situations of settlements along the Hortobágy by studying four of them, such as Balmazújváros, Hortobágy, Tiszacsege and Egyek. Big companies having worked in the examined settlements had significance in ensuring local working facilities, and restraining people from leaving. Acts dating back to the beginning of the 1990’ies, privatisation, transformation of the state farm and co-operatives have decreased the rate of employment in agriculture. Alternative income sources relating to agriculture, such as bio-farming by alternative plants, herb production and rural tourism will determine the future of agriculture in this area due to the closeness of the Hortobágy National Park, the unique but unfavourable natural conditions for agricultural production, financial aids by the National Agricultural Environmental Programme and the imminent EU-membership. In this way supporting these activities may ensure the livelihood of ex-agricultural workers and alternative income for those working in agriculture.
I am going to deal with two issues in this article:
• with the change of the role of agriculture in the examined settlements,
• with economic analyses of alternative income sources by a model of a family farm.
By joining the European Union, Hungary made a commitment to increasingly utilize renewable energy sources. Keeping in view the agricultural circumstances of Hungary, we can state that biomass utilization has, overall, the greatest range of possibilities to use its products as ‘energy sources’. Biomass raw materials are useful in meeting emission control regulations for environment protection and to reduce climate change. The role of biomass production in spatial and rural development and in rural employment, and also in the decrease of Hungary’s energy dependence, supports development in biomass energy use. My aim in studying biomass utilization is the creation of a micro-regional level, decentralised, agro-energetic system-model for the use of plant and animal biomass for energy purposes, whether naturally or by anthropogenic activity, on agro- and sylvicultural areas, and on animal breeding farms. This model simulation method serves as a planning base for policy-makers during the spatial planning processes. The examination is presently in the stage of data collection. The collection of the basic data of the examination area and the purchase of the necessary equipment, materials and maps has already started. Contact has been made with local stakeholders, municipalities, municipality associations and micro-region managers.
The authors of this study seek the answer to the question how to develop, in the first decade or decades of the 21st century, the university-level
horticultural scientific training, the horticultural innovation and the scientific co-operation between companies and universities in Debrecen and
in the North Great Plain Region and – in a wider sense – in Hungary to a standard being competitive even in European terms. With the synthesis
of the prospects of past, present and future, they drew the following conclusions. The reconstruction of agriculture, horticulture and food industry
is a part of reforming Hungary's countryside. Horticulture, producing high added value, will be able to decisively contribute to the plan whereas
the value presently produced in an agriculturally cultivated area of 1,000 euros/hectare can reach 2,000 to 3,000 euros in the next two decades.
A necessary and indispensable precondition to achieving this is the strengthening of the innovation output of the Hungarian horticultural sector.
Despite the numerous technical criticisms formulated in connection with the serious problems of Hungarian agricultural and horticultural
scientific innovation, no progress has been made in this field for the past one and a half decade. The scientific research of this topic hardly
continued or did not continue at all, the up-to-date surveys and in-depth analyses were missing. The objective, basic principles and tasks of the
Act CXXXIV of 2004 (TTI) enacted concerning research-development and technological innovation are clear and progressive. The co-operation
between the National Research Technology Office and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the setting up of the Innovation Fund are heartening
opportunities. These – along with the new Higher Education Bill to be passed – may as well be suitable for restarting the Hungarian agricultural
and horticultural scientific innovation. In our opinion, this requires a new, well-considered national agricultural programme, which can be
conceived in the framework of the "Ferenc Entz National Horticultural Plan" proposed by us for horticulture. In the most eastern Hungarian
university knowledge centre, at the University of Debrecen, the continuing of the horticultural scientific innovation strategy started in the last
decade may be the focal point and generator of the development of the so-called "Hungarian Horticultural Triangle”, or "Hungarian
Horticultural Cluster". This region comprises the Northern and Southern Great Plain Regions and the area between the Danube and Tisza
Rivers. Here, about 70 to 75% of the total Hungarian horticultural commodity stock is produced. The objective of the HORT-INNOTECH
DEBRECEN programme planned in 2004 by the University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural Science is to establish the horticultural scientific
research-development and technological innovation structure and knowledge base of the Hungarian Horticultural Triangle / Hungarian
Horticultural Cluster. In harmony with this, the objectives are to bring about competitive, new horticultural products, to improve the conditions
of utilising them, to enhance the competitiveness of enterprises based on technological innovation, to make use of the research-development and
innovation opportunities available in the regions in an efficient manner, to as full extent as possible, to encourage the creation of places of
employment producing high added value in the field of horticulture, to improve the technical skills of those employed in horticultural researchdevelopment and to promote their enhanced recognition by the society.
The practice of the conception and park-like economic development (between market economy circumstances) seems to be novel in our country. The first industrial parks have been established decentralized, with a local initiation, with some determining foreign undertakings early in the 90 years. Since then the increase of the number of the parks is high also the areas which have weaker economic level. We have make attention (in
the development politics) to the industrial parks working in the most harmful micro-regions, where the capital task is to extension of the employment, and to involvement of the capital. In the Northern Great Plain Region there are 31 industrial park at the ends of 2007. There are developed infrastructure and service in the big part of the parks. The smaller part of the parks cannot live on its title of industrial park, because of regional position, and concerned their management troubles. But the extension and developing of the park’s economic is very important in the region.
The Agricultural Research and Development Institute P.U.C., Szarvas – realizing the importance of using the biomass in a number of ways – was one of the first in Europe, who began the breeding of grasses suitable for industrial utilization. The possible areas of using the energygrass – which could be called industrial grass – are the following:
– Energetical use
– Paper industry use
– Utilization as an industrial fibrematerial
– Use for feeding
The aim of the breeding programme: developing the kinds of grass, which yields big drymaterial mass and suitable for industrial utilization. These kind of grass, taking soil-utilization, economicality and environmental protection, offer and ensure new marketing perspectives and employment facilities for the disadvantageous areas.
According to the data indicating the decline and restructuring during the past decade, as well as the trend in the European Union member states, it can be expected that the role of traditional agriculture and fish production in direct rural employment decrease further. This also values those strategic directions for restructuring that will lead fishculture from quantity driven to quality production along with sustainable development (i.e. environmental conscious production) and multifunctional farming. This way the economic and social tensions caused by the concentration of the production and labour output can be mitigated.
It is laid in the 1257/1999 Act on rural Development that farmers that enrol the agri-environmental scheme should follow the “Good Agricultural Practice” on the whole managed area. In case of agri-environmental schemes this is a precondition for which no grants are given.
The adaptation of “Good Agricultural Practice” in fishproduction,where it is called: “Good Pond Culture Practice” is considered important on the basis of the above mentioned. This programme is undertaken in co-operation with the Research Institute for Aquaculture, Fisheries and Irrigation, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development and the Association of Hungarian Fish Farmers and Product Council.
The European Commission proposed the formulation of the European Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EFAF) for the period 2007-20013, which will replace the Financial Instruments for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG), but it also consists of several new elements and will be working differently, too. According to the proposal the budget for the Fund will be nearly 5 billion EUR (4963 million EUR). The development level of aquaculture and fisheries and the social and economic significance in the given member state will be considered when distributing the Fund between the Member States.
According to the plan the Fund is organised along five priority axes, of which the most important for the Hungarian fisheries sector is No. II: Aquaculture and the processing and marketing of aquaculture and fisheries products. The main measure areas are the followings:
1. investment support for aquaculture;
2. support for aquatic-environmental schemes;
3. environmental- and animal health issues;
4. investments in processing and marketing
In case of accessing support under measure area No. 2 farms are obliged to meet the requirements of the scheme beyond the “good management practice” for 5 years, which is to be supervised by the approved body of the Member State. For this reason our work is considered to be substantial.
Approval of the application of “Good Pond Culture Practice” is based on two elements: first the prevailing environmental and nature conservation regulations, as well as the list of controllable conditions in the new agri-environmental agreements are to be met. “Good Pond Culture Practice” are to be conducted on the whole farm area. Its main elements are:
- nutrition management,
- pond maintenance,
- animal welfare (storage and over-wintering).
Agriculture plays a significant role in the North Great Plain Region. Organic farming is a sustainable farming method controlled by regulations. Active environmental protection and conservation play significant roles in organic farming, along with food quality and safety, originality and the monitoring of products. Organic farming offers opportunities to create employment, social safety and high profitability. As a result of these characteristics, organic farming could become one of the most important means of developing our region in the future.
Tourism – especially ecotourism and health-tourism – could be one of the sectors which could make Hungary economically competitive after joining the European Union, by ensuring thousands of people employment possibilities, if they take advantage of local and regional opportunities. For this reason, it would be necessary to analyse the two types of tourism mentioned above, as well as to collect data and especially impressions concerning how these potentially lucrative sectors could best be structured and managed, as well as to predict their probable effects.
The most important objectives of my study are to introduce the values of Hortobágy, to analyse the present status of tourism in the Hortobágy National Park, and to make suggestions for increasing the numbers of tourists, by making Hortobágy more attractive.
As a resident of Debrecen, I visited the region several times and took part in programs at Hortobágy as well. I was always curious how the trip to the Hortobágy could be made more enjoyable.
My research was carried out with the help of questionnaires, which were made in three languages – Hungarian, English and German –. In August 2002, I approached foreign and Hungarian tourists in Hortobágy village, and asked them to fill them in. To evaluate the questionnaires, I used Microsoft Excel ’00. During the evaluation, I calculated distribution, arithmetic mean and deviation. Moreover, I obtained the level of significance.
My assumption that tourists visiting Hortobágy are “one-day” tourists, who are visiting the Hungarian Pusta because of an actual program, was supported by my research. I must emphasise that mostly passive tourism opportunities are offered in Hortobágy, where tourist are only external observers of the programs.
In order to change this situation, I suggested that visitors to Hortobágy can be encouraged to stay longer by offering them various programs, in which tourists are actively involved. My program recommendations include a craftsman’s house or tent, where the visitors can try to make typical folk instruments. Moreover, I made suggestions as to how to teach tourists to make Hungarian dishes. I also outlined several one-day program possibilities. Among the opportunities, I also mentioned the need to provide tourists possibilities to spend several days in a conventional Pusta life-style. To realise these things adequate infrastructure and information system should be developed.
In Hungary the operating medium of game management and the guided hunting sector is undergoing such a radical change nowadays that on the one hand it considerably influences the profit-producing ability of the sector, and on the other hand it sets the actors of the industry new challenges and opportunities. If the Hungarian hunting industry, which has a traditional past, also wishes to preserve its position in this changed business medium, it is essential that the new situation be thoroughly assessed, and the value-oriented marketing attitude be adapted. The phenomena presented in this essay discuss the consequences and causes of the appearance of new service providers regarding the supply side, and the content changes of the consumer group and the modification of earlier consumption preferences and their causes on the demand side. The changing of the two media jointly generate the adaptation of the value-oriented service - marketing concepts, by using which the areas to be developed and deemed as the narrow cross-section of consumer decisions can be determined. After specifying the target group specific marketing properties of the aove-mentioned – prestige – service, such services of high utility content can already be established successfully that can be positioned as a proper alternative for the new consumer group of higher value expectation. On the other hand, the employment and profitability indexes related to this sector may considerably be improved.
There are significant differences in the level of economic development and social relations between the various regions of Hungary, consequently, their competitiveness is also dissimilar. The term ’competitiveness’ has recently gained a regional meaning from various aspects. The unified interpretation of ’competitiveness’ is applicable to all basic units of the economy in a flexible way, and is therefore applicable on regional level as well. Regional competitiveness is measured against four economic categories: regional income per capita, work efficiency, employment rate and age composition. In addition to an overview of the region, this study will analyse the above components of regional competitiveness based on data describing the region.
Both at European and national level tertiary and quaternary sectors are concentrated in the metropolitan centre. In the rural areas only the sites of such sectors can be found the premises of which temporarily transform the sectoral structure of these areas, but from the regional development aspect they did not prove to be an effective strategy.
The European Commission is now focusing on growth from innovation, which could become the driving force behind productivity growth and the economy’s long-term trend. The innovation-oriented economic development’s key players are on the one hand the knowledge-intensive enterprises, on the other hand the universities. Tertiary education can play a role – among others – in shaping and creating the development of knowledge intensive business environment and conditions, on the other hand it can assist the development of network contacts – another precondition of employment growth.
Our study prepared as a brief version of National Report in the frame of EUROLAN Programme. We deal with the interpretation of some definitions (marginalisation of land use, multifunctionality of land use, marginalisation of agriculture, multifunctionality of agriculture), with sorting and reviewing indicators of marginalisation and finally with the analysis of functions of land use. We suggested a dynamic and a static approach of marginalisation. We can explore the dynamic process by time series and the static (regional) one by cross-section analyses.
It is very hard to explain the perspective of the future of marginalisation of land and of agriculture in Hungary. The process of marginalisation seems faster in the agriculture in the coming years, but it depends on the utilisation of new possibilities given by the EU financial resources and by the Common Market. At this moment agriculture seems one of the big losers of the accession.
In the long term we should face considerable challenges in the land use. It is necessary to take into account that there is a supply market of foods and traditional fibre production world-wide. There are limited possibilities to produce and to market for example biodiesel (fuel), bioethanol, or maybe biogas. Thus the environment and landscape preservation becomes more and more real land use alternatives.
The environmental interpretation of the multifunctionality of land use: activities (functions) of environmental preservation and nature conservation in a certain area, which aim to preserve natural resources by the existing socio-economic conditions.
Preservation of rural landscapes is the task mainly for land-users, who can be commanded by legal means and can be encouraged by economic measures to carry out the above activity. In the recent past measures of „command and control” type regulation were predominant, however nowadays, especially in the developed countries, the role of economic incentives increases.
As a conclusion of our analysis we can state that as long as the main land-dependent activities (agriculture, forestry, housing, tourism, local mining) cease to be viable under an existing socio-economic structure, then it is hardly possible to sustain the rural landscape on an appropriate level by non-commodity products (such as environment preservation, cultural heritage, nature conservation, employment etc.).
1 The study was prepared in the frame of EUROLAN (EU-5 Framework Project), QLK5-CT-2002-02346, as a compiled version of the Hungarian National Report, The national project co-ordinator: Prof. Dr. Gabor Szabo.
A part of places with high ecological values coincides with the areas with unfavourable agricultural endowments and underdeveloped micro-regions. We think so that the marginalisation preserves the non-environmental-sound activities and hinders the development of multifunctional agriculture and this process can change only by joint utilisation of endogenous and exogenous resources and methods. Thus the successful programmes for agri-environmental protection and multifunctional land use can serve the moderation of negative effects of marginalisation or maybe the marginalisation process itself.
The North Great Plain region is one of the backward regions of Hungary. The low level of economic development is mainly due to the lack of industrial development. The region is poor in natural resources, its main resources are land, natural gas fields, carbon dioxide, thermal water and the clay mineral stock.
The structure of GDP per capita of the county is different than the country average mainly because of the high proportion of agriculture.
The proportion of the industry and the building industry is not significant. Of the various service provider sectors, trade, transport and telecommunications have a small proportion, while financial and economic service providers have even lower share, which is due to the fact that these sectors are mostly concentrated in Budapest. The share of public and human service prodivers is higher than average due to the University of Debrecen.
The GDP which expresses the economic development of the county in a complex way increased four times its previous value in nominal value between 1995–2009. However, if the real value is considered, the increase is less than 25%, as opposed to the country average, which was less than 40%.
The most complex index of the development level of an economy is GDP expressed either in nominal or real value. If expressed in dollars, GDP is suitable for international comparison with the correction based on the purchasing power parity per person.
The county represents 4.3% of the people employed in the industrial sector in Hungary, while its share in industrial production is only 3.3% which is lower than the regional and population share of the county within Hungary. As regards industrial production per person, Hajdú-Bihar was the 10th county in Hungary; therefore, it is considered to be a less industrialised county.
The product structure of GDP is suitable for drawing useful development conclusions, but the result is more reliable if the income creation ability is also analysed on the basis of the employment structure.
Our objective was to analyse the situation of Hungarian language agricultural higher education in Romania. Our analyses have been focused mainly on Kovászna county. Following the evaluation of the characteristics of the county, we assessed the situation of Hungarian language higher education in Romania. History is considered important, because Hungarian language agricultural higher education goes back to the 1860s. The best solution for measuring the current reputation was the completion of questionnaires, which was done by 140 randomly selected people in Kovászna county. Following the evaluation and analysis of the questionnaires we found that local agricultural education, plant production and livestock farming are important activities for the locals. However, it is sure that even if they are satisfied with the education, they consider continuous development very important, since it would be a major help for the employment and subsistence of fresh graduates in Kovászna county.
The last decade of Hungarian agriculture was marked and changes which affected all parts of agricultural production. This process resulted in a new ownership and organisation structure. The paper presents the effects of the changes in ownership on land use and the various enterprise forms and intends to outline the main tendencies. In general, it can be stated that the role of agriculture in GDP production and employment is decreasing in Hungary, but according to concurrent opinions of experts, agriculture still has and will have a major role in income production and the ease of social tensions in rural areas in the future as well. Hungary’s accession to the European Union provides new chances and new prospects for Hungarian agriculture and rural areas. Hungarian agriculture became a part of the internal market which includes about 450 million people. The safety of marketing became stronger, the rate of financial support is increasing and the income of growers will increase in the future. This process implies more obligations and the keeping of strict regulations. Competition inside the internal market is intensifying, competitiveness will be more important while the chances of development and investment of the growers and the feasibility of more effective land use are increasing. After the accession, integration into the directives formulated in the CAP and the packages of measures accepted in it is framework have growing importance.
These directives encourage farm-reallocation, namely the rational estate concentration. In general, it can be stated that rational estate concentration, and more effective land use as a consequence, will increase the efficiency of agricultural production.
I my current essay I tried to prove that the European Union modified its economic policy due to the financial and economic crisis and the fierce global competitiveness requirements. The main emphasis was laid on the increase of competitiveness. Competitiveness became preferred
to cohesion and the economic and social closing up of the newly joined Middle-Eastern European countries. The funds for competitiveness for growth and employment increase by 6–7% yearly during the financial perspective between 2007–2013. On the contrary the funds for agriculture and rural development decrease by 3% yearly in this period. The tendency remains unchanged during the financial perspective 2014–2020.
This tendency strengthens the establishment of the two speed Europe concept and causes tensions between the core regions and the peripheries.