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The role of agriculture in regional development
Published July 24, 2014
25-30

Agriculture is the leading national economic sector of Hajdú-Bihar county. The proportion of employees in this sector and the share of pro ducts produced in this region is above the country average. The contribution of agriculture to the GDP is 6.3%, as opposed to the average value of the country (3.3%). Based on their primary activity, 8% of ...the enterprises in the county are classified as agricultural and forestry companies, while this proportion is only 5.3% in the whole country.

Nearly three quarters (71.1%) of the sowing area is occupied by maize and other cereals, mainly wheat. This proportion is slightly more than the country average (69.2%). The proportional area of oil crops - including sunflower – and roughage is nearly the same as the country average. However, there is a significant difference in vegetable production. Due to the higher intensity of vegetable production, the area occupied by vegetables is three times the country average. 19.4% of the crop products, 23.5% of animal products and living animals, 25.8% of the income generated by production factors and 29.8% of net enterprise income of Hungary originates from the North Great Plain region.

The facilitation of creating local markets, e.g. local public food supply, satisfying the needs of food trade with local goods, the necessary awareness raising actions, secondary and higher education of experts, as well as the more specific and targeted utilisation of development resources are agricultural development tasks.

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The impact of employment and income circumstances on the development of regions
Published July 24, 2014
15-19

The economic condition of an area is fundamentally determined by the extent of employement, as well as the size and composition of its active population. No sustainable economic growth is possible without the necessary amount of employees with the proper skills.

As regards the proportion of employees, i.e. economically active people is ...significanlty lower in Hungary than not only in Western Europe, but also countries which joined the EU recently. One of the reasons for this fact is the low amount of part-time employment and the other is the phenomenon that the number of agricultural employees – who had a significant role – greatly decreased in the county.

The employment level of the population in the county is nearly identical as that of the North Great Plain region and it is lower than the country average. The activity proportion, i.e. the joint proportion of employees and unemployed people in the population between 15–74 years of age is 3 percentages lower than the country average. The proportion of unemployed people greatly varies depending on the small regions of the county. The proportion of registered unemployed people in the population of active age is the lowest in Debrecen and the highest in the Hajdúhadház small region. The unemployment of career-starters is a further problem to deal with.

The composition of employees in the county is different than the country average. When compared in terms of different economic sectors, it can be observed that agriculture, game management, forestry and fishery are more significant than the country average. Of the provider sectors, the proportion of financial activity, real estate matters and economic services is lower, while that of accommodation services and hospitality is higher than the country average.

There are regional differences similar to unemployment in terms of the income size which is the basis of personal income tax per taxpayer.
The income level in the North Great Plain region is lower than the country average mainly in terms of income paid for work, where this difference is 23%, while it is only 5% in the case of social income. Altogether, the income and expenditure data of the North Great Plain region are not favourable.

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The effects of education, culture, research and development in Hajdú-Bihar county
Published September 18, 2014
87-90

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The most important instrument of social advancement and economic development is the education system. The educational qualification of the population of Hajdú-Bihar county is continuously improving, however the census data of the year 2001 show that the educational qualification of the population of the county did not reach the national average. The educational qualification of the county’s population is higher at the county seat and in other cities and lower in small municipalities. The county’s ratio is strongly influenced by the data of the county seat Debrecen and that of Hajdúszoboszló sub region.

The unfavorable educational level of the region is related to the migration tendencies and the brain-draining trends of the past decades, as a consequence of which the population of the less developed eastern regions has moved either to the capital, or to the county seats, or larger cities of the region. The young are increasingly affected by the process.

The number of kindergartens in the county corresponds to the national average, therefore taking into consideration the regional demographic characteristics the aim should be the equalization of regional disproportions. The number of students per 1000 resident within the Northern Great Plain Region and in the county significantly exceeds the national average. The secondary school network of the county consists of 38 secondary grammar- and 51 secondary vocational schools.

The secondary schools of Debrecen have considerable impact on the county’s secondary education. The vocational training network of Hajdú-Bihar county is a large, in its conditions highly differentiated institutional network in which all types of secondary vocational institutions are present with secondary technical-, vocational-, accredited higher vocational-, specialized or preparatory vocational-, and special skill enhancement programmes. The majority of the secondary institutions have regional, rarely national enrollment.

Students who have the intention to continue their studies in higher education within the county can study in Debrecen or Hajdúböszörmény.

The integrated University of Debrecen has the highest student number within the country and it offers the widest range of academic programmes in Hungarian higher education. The University of Debrecen with the wide range of graduate and postgraduate educational programmes, unified academic qualification system, English language programmes is a European standard scientific centre of the Trans-Tisza Region. The county’s higher education takes exceeding share beyond its weight in the education of Natural Sciences (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mathematics), Health- and Social Sciences, Agricultural- and Environmental Sciences and Information Technology, which positively influences its educational structure. The county’s share in the education of Humanities (Hungarian Language, Foreign Languages, History, Archeology, Philosophy) is also significant.

6.3% of the country’s scientific researchers work in the county. In 2010 7.0% of the country’s R+D expenditure was spent here. 3/4 of the region’s research capacity is in Hajdú-Bihar county employed either by the University of Debrecen or by the research teams of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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Public finance resources and regional distribution of rural development
Published September 18, 2014
73-77

...x; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; widows: 2; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Rural development, more specifically the economic development of counties have three public finance resources: the municipality, the central budgetary and the labour market fund resources. Based on the provisions of public finance, there are currently five provisions of the municipality resources of rural development: supporting settlements struggling with employment problems, supporting multi-purpose small regions, supporting settlements which are in a difficult position through no fault of their own, supporting public utility development and supporting holiday resorts. The opportunity of increasing investments is using EU funds. The structural change has a favourable direction, the proportion of the economic development program and regional developments increased in the recent years, but their share is still low. The proportion of agricultural and rural development programs which are important from the aspect of rural development is a less favourable phenomenon. Furthermore, the share of human and social development somewhat decreased, but it is still high. Apart from the regional programs, the Budget Act does not specify the regional distribution of budgets, only the professional purposes of uses, of which it is possible to conclude to which county development can be requested resources for.

Between 2008 and 2011, the 13–15% share of the North Great Plain region was close to the population share of 14.7%. In 2012, there was a turn of events in which the necessity of developing the region was shown. In this year, not only the proportion, but also the absolute extent of development resources increased. Therefore, the region could use resources of 16.9 billion HUF in 2010, 31.4 billion HUF in 2011 and 56.3 billion HUF in 2012. In order to properly use these resources, determined utilisation structure is necessary to be performed. The distribution of development purposes provides an explanation for the backward position of the economic performance of Hajdú-Bihar county.

Of the development resources available for four years, the region spent only 12.2% on economic development.

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The social basis of regional development in the North Great Plain Region
Published September 18, 2014
57-65

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">It is a widely accepted practice in the European Union to break down countries into regions according to their stage of development, their cultural and economic characteristics. The basis of this methodology is the EU-conform MOTS system, which distinguishes territorial units on five levels. Besides the MOTS system, Hungary uses another system, too, which is the basis of our public administration, and whose roots go back to the times of King Saint Stephen: the county system. In Hungary, developmental decisions are taken by a county’s general assembly; at the same time, from an economic point of view the characteristics and competitive advantages of a county can be defined more precisely than those of a region.

Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County and Hajdu-Bihaur County may be described with completely different characteristics, albeit both of them are part of the North Great Plain Region. On a county level economically important and justified developmental areas may be mapped more precisely.

Hajdu-Bihar County is the 4th most populous county in Hungary. With 80.2% of the population living in cities, the county is significantly urbanized. 2010 statistics show that the birth rate per 1,000 people in the county is practically the same as the birth rate of the country and that of the North Great Plain Region. Following the trends in developed countries, mothers now tend to give birth in an older age. Almost half (44.5%) of the children in Hajdu-Bihar County are born after their mother’s 30th birthday.

The general health condition of the population of Hajdu-Bihar County can be described with various indicators. In terms of medical and hospital care no difference can be observed between regional and national data, the county’s health care does not straggle behind. In sum, with the health care system of the county, estimated life expectancy of men is higher than the regional average, and in case of women it is higher than both the regional and national average, according to the given year’s mortality.

Children’s ratio among the county’s population is 15.9%, which is more than 1% over the national average. The ratio is higher in case of girls and boys alike. The income of the county’s population depends not only on labour income but also on social benefits. According to the analysis, the proportion of old-age pensioners and those receiving pension-like allowances within the whole population is somewhat lower in the county than the national average. The number of children receiving child-welfare and daytime care is prominent in the county.

The number of families and children receiving child-care allowance has not changed significantly in recent years. All important elements of social benefits have increased in the last decade. The quality of life of the county’s population is largely affected by the presence (or absence) of basic infrastructure in their environment. Research conducted at the settlements of the county shows that currently the greater part of the population has access to basic public utility services which form part of everyday services. Although they affect the general quality of life, the network of roads and passenger traffic have their real significance in terms of economic development. The county’s modern, paved road-system had already been built earlier.

Roads and pavements in inner-city areas have been paved up to 70%. The technical condition of roads and pavements can seriously impede the population’s mobility and it may hinder the development of certain settlements and districts.

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Settlement network, demographic circumstances, healthcare, social service and educations in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county
Published September 18, 2014
105-113

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county shares its borders with three countries: Romania, Ukraine and Slovakia. The county is part of the North Great Plain Region, it is the third largest county of Hungary in terms of its population. The peripheric geographical location of the county gained importance by the EU accession, as the county represents a significant part of the eastern border of the EU.

Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county is one of the counties of the Great Plain with significant population in the outlying areas, out of the six counties of the Great Plain the population of outlying areas is the lowest in the county, its ratio has been significantly reducing in the past decades. In the six counties in 1990 the population of the outlying areas represented 22.3% of the total population, whereas in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county the ratio was 13.6%. The ratio has dropped to 6.2% and 4.1% respectively.

The major aim of economic development is the improvement of the living conditions of the population, first and foremost by increasing family incomes. There are two main determining factors of family income level: employment ratio and the sectoral structure of employment.

Between 1992–2010 the number of employees in the financial sector decreased from 89 000 to 75 000, whereas the number of employees in the non-financial sector grew dynamically from 40 000 to 65 000. Structural change was significant. In the non-financial sector the proportion of the two main employment fields (education and healthcare) swapped. The number of employees in the education sector decreased from 16 000 to 14 000, while the number of employees in the health and social care sector grew from 11 000 to 22 000.

On the basis of statistics the number of kindergarten and primary school children reduced in the given period, while the number of secondary school aged children increased. In 1999 the number of secondary school children was 1/5th compared to the number of primary school children, whereas in 2010 their number almost reached 1/2. The student number in higher education doubled, which is a favorable phenomenon, though its structural changes raise some problems. The lack of technical trainings hinders exigent industrial development.

Since 1990 the education level of the population has significantly improved, the number and proportion of secondary school students and university graduates have risen much more dynamically than in other regions of the country. In the county the proportion of secondary school students increased 63% more than the national average, while in the case of university graduates the county passed the average national growth by more than 54%. Due to the effect of structural changes the proportion of university graduates in the corresponding age group improved, its backwardness compared to the national average has ameliorated from 34% to 29%, in the group of secondary school graduates the disadvantage has moderated from 26% to 21%. The computer and internet supply, as well as the number of teachers and students enrolled in secondary education institutions have developed dynamically in the county. Their growth has much excelled the national average.

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Relationships of Fruit Production and Regional Development in the Northern Great Plain Region
Published December 6, 2005
181-187

The role of retaining population in agriculture is stronger and more significant in the long run in the North Great Plain Region compared to other regions. The region has a significant processing industry along with a good basis for producing raw materials, developed food processing capicity and high quality agricultural products typical of the... region. The GDP in agriculture, forestry and game management is somewhat higher than the national average.
Variety is of cardinal importance when establishing the quality of horticultural products and determining the product value. The Hungarian breeding results of apple, quince, apricot, cherry, raspberry, red and black currant are promising.
The regulation system of EU the vegetable and fruit market is based on Retail Cooperatives Producers. With the establishment of national vegetable- and fruit production and retail organizations, the market regulation, production and quality development issues of the sector can be handled and solved. Reaching EU standards in fruit production can only be achieved with up-to-date plantation systems and breed selection. A key issue in development is establishing the required financial resources for investments and updating production. In order to reach these standards, significant state subsidies and good credit conditions are needed. By solving these tasks, the sector is expected to become self-financed without government help.
The pursuit of safer production, improving quality and increasing yields require the establishment of up-to-date irrigation systems. The improvement of family farms, motivating land concentration is necessary for increasing average size of plants. Establishing the above mentioned conditions is important since the vegetable-fruit sector is of great significance in the employment of rurally based population, improving their living conditions and executing rural development programs.

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Differences in Regional Development in the Northern Great Plain Region
Published December 6, 2005
170-180

An important ambition of EU regional politics is the reduction of disparities. An important strategical objective of the Commission is to terminate underdevelopment and to ensure the development of the regions based on the principles of solidarity, equity and justice. The commission has dedicated forty percent of its common budget to achieve th...ese goals. The differences in development are significantly influenced by the economic characteristics of the specific region, the quality and quantity of human resources, the accessibility of the region and factors influencing local quality of life.
The new spatial structure has been formed by the processes of the change of regime, the events of nineties and the economic renewal based onforeign capital investments parallel with crisis phenomenon. The economic, political and social consequences of the transformation have significantly transformed spatial structure and increased disparities. New disparities have formed, which strengthened due to the formation of east-west slopes and local crisis zones. The outstanding improvement of the capital resulted in great regional development differences, which can be detected when examining regional distribution of gross domestic product. The Eastern part of the country was most heavily affected by the collapse of heavy industry and agricultural mass production based on the Eastern markets.
It is of key importance for the region to strengthen regional competitiveness, which requires the application of consistent development-politics. Economic development is the most important, which can also draw the possibility of establishing welfare infrastructures. It is important to develop the processing industry, the supply networks and to ease the lack of capital it is also important to involve foreign capital. Developing agriculture plays an important role in transforming the structure of the economy. Since the conditions of the region, its traditions and long-term competitive advantages are favorable, thus can represent a greater ratio in the economy than the EU average. The modernisation of the agricultural sector can be promoted by supporting marketing, quality agricultural development and producer-retail cooperation. It is also highly important to promote development in transportation and informatics infrastructure and human resources.
In the future – based on the strength of the region – it is necessary to achieve such a consistent regional development politics, which by validating the principles of regional politics, serves the interest of utilizing regional development supports most efficiently and prevents the irreversible underdevelopment of the region and promotes fast development.

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Regional Development Differences in Hungary and the Northern-Great Plain Region
Published March 4, 2005
62-71

The most important endeavour of European Union’s regional policy is to moderate disparities. An emphasised strategic objective of member states, based on the principle of solidarity, fairness and justice, is to develop regions and almost forty percent of the common budget is devoted to achieving this objective.
Hungary, as a full EU member... state, will get a new chance for underdeveloped regions, especially for the Eastern-Hungarian as well as the North Hungarian and North Plain Region.
The differences in development among the regions are significantly influenced by the economic characteristics of the specific region, quality and quantity of human resources, accessability of the region and other factors influencing local quality of life beside natural conditions.
The new spatial structure was formed by change of regime, processes of the nineties, primarily the economic renewal based on foreign capital investments and the crisis phenomena in parallel with these. The economic, political and social consequences of the transformation significantly changed spatial structure and increased disparities. New disparities formed which were further aggravated as a consequence due to the formation of the eastern-western slope and local crisis zones. As a result of the outstanding development of the capital, the long term differentiation of regional development differences can also be detected when examining the regional distribution of Hungarian gross domestic product. The collapse of heavy industry and agricultural mass production based on the eastern markets primarily affected the north-east counties in the eastern part of the country.
Strengthening regional competitiveness is of key importance for the region, which requires the application of consistent development policy. The most important is economic development which, if it operates well, also infers the possibility of establishing welfare infrastructures. Drawing in external sources to ease the significant lack of capital is important for the processing industry and the development of supplier networks. Agricultural development also plays an important role in transforming economic structure, since the characteristics of the region, its traditions and long term competitive advantages are favourable, therefore it is going to represent a higher ratio within the economy than the EU average. The modernisation of the agricultural sector can be promoted by supporting market accession, quality agricultural production and stimulating producer-retailer cooperation. The development of transportation and informatics infrastructure as well as human resource development plays a significantly important role in the development of the region.
In conclusion, the implementation of such a consistent regional development policy is required in the future, based on the strengths of the region, that serves the most efficient utilisation of regional development funds through the implementation of regional policy principles and prevents the irreversible decay of the region while promoting rapid development.

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The future of apple growing in the Northern Great Plain region
Published September 14, 2005
35-38

We revealed and assessed those macroeconomic data which enabled us to identify the outstanding role of agriculture and within it that of fruit production. Based on this, it can be said that soil is the most important natural resource of Hungary. The appropriate combination of the additional resources required for production, labour and assets c...an provide a comparative advantage for the Northern Great Plain Region.
The Northern Great Plain Region is one of the most underdeveloped regions in Hungary, so its development is a political objective. When analysing the economic sectors in the region, the important role of agriculture is obvious and it is also clear that the industry and the tertiary sector can only have an alternative income generating role in the future also. Therefore, it is important that the regional development funds of Hungary and the European Union are directly or indirectly aimed at improving agricultural development and competitiveness.

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