Vol. 6 No. 3-4 (2012)

Published November 30, 2012

Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce
(APSTRACT) is the official periodical of the International
MBA Network in Agribusiness and Commerce for the
discussion and dissemination of applied research in
agricultural economics, agribusiness and commerce
performed within the International MBA Network.
Submitted manuscripts should be related to rural
development or the economics of agriculture, natural
resources and environment. Papers should have a practical
orientation and demonstrate innovation in analysis, methods
or application. Topic areas include production economics
and farm management, agricultural policy, agricultural
environmental issues, regional planning and rural
development, methodology, the marketing of agricultural and
food products, international trade and development.
APSTRACT publishes practical research and case studies, as
well as papers discussing policy issues. Shorter features
include book reviews and comments on previously published
articles. In addition, the journal publishes on its website the
Annual Report of the International MBA Network in
Agribusiness and Commerce enabling the members of
International MBA Network to have immediate access to the
papers. Reactions to articles previously published in
APSTRACT should be sent to the Editor.

Full Issue



  • Comparing the levels of expectation and satisfaction of Indian and foreign adventure tourists visiting India

    Purpose – The present study is undertaken to explore the difference between expectation and satisfaction level of Indian and foreign adventure tourists and the relationship between the levels of expectation and satisfaction of Indian and foreign adventure tourists.
    Methodology – The data has been gathered from a sample of 300 adventure tourists comprising of 150 Indians and 150 foreigners. A principal component analysis with varimax rotation has identified 28 relevant items, which are broadly clustered into 6 significant factors. They are labeled as Aesthetic Appeal, Facilities, Accommodation, Information, Food and Safety and Security.
    Findings – The findings of this study revealed significant differences between the levels of expectation and satisfaction of adventure tourists of Indian and foreign origin. The level of expectation among the Indian and foreign adventure tourist is higher and, comparatively, the level of satisfaction is lower. The level of expectation and the level of satisfaction of Indian adventure tourists are positively and significantly correlated with respect to variables such as Aesthetic Appeal, Facilities, Safety and Security and Accommodation. For the foreign adventure tourist, the level of expectation and level of satisfaction are positively and significantly correlated with respect to variables such as Information, Aesthetic Appeal, Facilities and Food.
    Practical Implications – The research findings will help in the promotion of adventure tourism in India.
    Originality/ Value – The identified factors can be used for similar kinds of studies at different destinations. The results of the study would be instrumental in developing strategies for ensuring more satisfied tourists.

  • New sources of employment to promote the wealth-generating capacity of rural communities

    New Sources of Employment to Promote the Wealth-Generating Capacity of Rural Communities (acronym: RuralJobs) is a collaborative research project partly funded under the European Commission Research and Development 7th Framework Program. The Rural Jobs consortium consists of partners drawn from eight European Union (EU) countries (Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and UK). The project began on February 2008 and finished in October 2010. RuralJobs quantified labour market, demographic and economic trends, and the impact of employment creation measures and policies in seven, representative “reference areas” across the EU, and used the information to demonstrate how rural development measures can be better targeted and how rural development policies should evolve.We identified labour market, demographic and economic trends in rural areas across EU-27 and the potential for new sources of employment outside traditional primary and secondary sector activities, and examined the interaction between different types of rural area (peri-urban, remote, high environmental/amenity value etc.). We identified employment growth areas where rural development programmes can be targeted to increase their contribution to employment creation. Our strategic objectives were the following: review of employment policies and programmes, scenarios for new sources of employment according to rural typologies, recommendations for better targeting of strategies, dissemination and mainstreaming. The main outcome expected is that the results will allow a better targeting of rural development measures and future evolution of rural development policies in line with the Lisbon Strategy.

  • The social value of science shops: A cost-benefit analysis

    We describe and apply a method to determine the net social benefits of science shops. University departments operating as science shops coordinate research projects for individuals or civil society organizations (CSO) lacking the financial means to turn to professional consultancy bureaus. Three cases are analyzed; the science shops atWageningen, Brussels and Eindhoven. After investigation, it appears that under the normal assumptions for the application of CBA, the science shops concerned show positive net social benefits.

  • Effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability in local rural development partnerships

    Due to the ever-increasing role the LEADER approach is playing in realizing rural development policy, Local Action Groups (LAGs) have become key actors in the institutional system of rural development. Through their activity in supporting and improving local development, they represent a spatial organizing force in rural regions. Their operation can effectively contribute to the competitive and sustainable development of their local area, within the framework of European rural development policy. Compliance with this role requires the active and conscientious work of the LAGs, both in the process of programming and implementation. In this paper, we aim to present the impact mechanism of the operation of LAGs and its determinant factors. Based on expert evaluations, we investigate the experiences of the implementation of the LEADER approach for rural development from the viewpoints of effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

  • Education as a factor of awareness development of organic product consumers

    Organic agriculture provides good quality products, the development of sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and economic efficiency. To develop a habit of consuming organic food, as is case with all habits, it is necessary to educate the younger population, so that they can become accustomed to the fact that organic food is a source of both human health and a healthy environment. Therefore, educational institutions should initiate actions in order to develop awareness of the importance of healthy and safe food (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) among youth. This action has already been carried out in some countries.

  • Economic questions of land usage – scarcity, sustainability

    The aim of this paper is to show the economic importance of land usage. This topic is important because land is the basis of industrial and agricultural production, as well as energy and environmental security. The focus of the analysis is the relationship between land usage and scarcity and sustainability.

  • Methodological and integration aspects of ABC-method application in trade organizations

    In conditions of declining consumer demand and deficit of credit resources more and more managers of Russian companies think of necessity of introducing effective methods and systems of cost management. One of the most relevant is method of “Activity Based Costing” (ABC-method). Since, in western experts’ opinion sectors of service and trade are adjusted to use of ABC-method even more than production, we should refer once more to the main methodological and integration aspects of ABC-method application and consider it from position of trade organization.

  • Impacts and externalities of agricultural modernization in Brazilian states

    This study aimed to analyze the relationship between the levels of agricultural modernization and socioeconomic indicators of the Brazilian federation units. A multivariate approach to data analysis led to the creation of the Index of Agricultural Modernization (IAM). The Spearman correlation test was used to verify the relationship between levels of agricultural modernization and a set of economic and social indicators. As a result of the survey, we obtained the Index of Agricultural Modernization (IAM) which allowed the ranking of Brazilian states in terms of level of modernization. The correlation analysis demonstrated the existence of significant and positive correlation between the agricultural modernization and the following indicators: per capita GDP, trade balance per capita and IFDM. This means that agricultural modernization contributes to increased production, exports and the levels of socioeconomic development of the states. For the variable urbanization rate, test results showed a negative correlation with the IAM, which suggests a contribution of agricultural modernization for fixing people in the countryside. Indicators of inequality in income distribution showed no significant correlation. In conclusion, it can be inferred that the positive relationship of the IAM with indicators of production, exports and socioeconomic development shows the presence of positive externalities and impacts of the agricultural modernization process
    for the Brazilian states.

  • Improving audit functions of supreme audit institutions to promote sustainable development

    In this paper, we demonstrate and analyze the substance of the added value effect of a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI), focusing on sustainable development issues.We intend to answer such questions as: how could a SAI respond to global and local challenges and how it could help government to implement commitments towards sustainability. Finally, we trace a possible way to improve external audit functions both on the state level and at the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), by using some ideas from network theory.

  • The political economy of agri-environmental measures: An empirical assessment at the eu regional level

    The paper deals with the political and economic determinants of EU agri-environmental measures (AEMs) applied by 59 regional/country units, during the 2001-2004 period. Five different groups of determinants, spanning from positive and negative externalities, to political institutions, are highlighted and tested using an econometric model. Main results show that AEMs implementation is mostly affected by the strength of the farm lobby, and the demand for positive externalities. At the same time it emerges a prominent role played by political institutions. On the contrary, AEMs do not seem implemented by the willingness to address negative externalities.

  • Water footprint in Hungary

    More and more news report on water-related extreme environmental phenomena. Some of these are natural, which are often beyond the human race. But others are definitely due to anthropogenic effects. I think the water footprint index is able to highlight national and international water-use processes and gives us the opportunity of organizing a sustainable, consumer-, environmental- and governancefriendly management. 81% of the fresh water withdrawal is from surface water bodies in the EU. In Europe as a whole, 44% of abstraction is used for energy production, 24% for agriculture, 21% for public water supply and 11% for industry. Public water supply is confined to ground waters. To the water resources related human activity caused qualitative and quantitative amortisation will grow worse in the foreseeable future due to the climate change. Beside seasonal differences the sectoral differences are increasingly becoming critical between different areas, such as Southern and Western Europe. The former, wrong agricultural support system has worsened the situation since it gave financial aid for the used improper techniques of water-intensive crop cultivation. By today, this seems to be solved. Public water abstraction is affected by many factors, of which mostly are based on social situation and habits, but technological leakage receives a big role as well. Interesting, that for example the residents’water consumption in Eastern Europe decreased because price were raised and regular measurements were introduced. But in Southern Europe it increased due to tourism in the past period. Industrial water withdrawal decreased across Europe because of the decline of industry and the development of technologies. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), the Union needs a sustainable, demand-driven leadership which focuses on the preservation and use efficiency. This have already appeared in politics and legal administration as well. Current research calls the attention to the significance and difficulties of this kind of domestic estimation presented trough the water footprint calculation of bread and pork in Hungary. The received data indicate the domestic water consumption trends in a modern approach. There is no doubt for me about the urgent necessity of water footprint calculation because as a result innovative, sustainability supported environmental, social, economical, and political relationships can be created – not just on local, regional or national level, but on interregional, European and even global stage.

  • Agriculture of the countries of the Western Balkans and European integrations

    The paper presents the results of research of agriculture of the countries of the Western Balkans in the period of 2002–2009. Specifically, general economic (GDP per capita, share of agriculture in GDP, inflation rate, and unemployment rate), resource (share of arable land in the total utilized agricultural land, of employees in agriculture in the total number of employees, and of rural population in the total population), and value indicators (value added of agriculture in % of GDP, value added of agriculture per employee in agriculture, producers’ prices of wheat, corn, and bovine milk, share of agriculture in the values of export and import) were compared.

  • The economic performance of tourism in Northern Hungarian Region, with special regard to Heves County

    The study shows the economic performance of public accommodation establishments (especially in Heves County) in the period of 2000–2008 in the context of basic touristic indicators like the number of public accommodation establishments, capacity, arrivals, bednights, average length of stay, revenue (structure of revenue), and the role of local tourism tax revenues. According the study, we can conclude that on the basis of the capacity, number of guests and number of bednights of public accommodation establisments, Heves County (as compared to other counties of the region) played a pivotal role in the tourism of Northern Hungary in the studied period. Knowing these facts, it is worthwhile to make further investments and developments in tourism in the county.

  • ERP systems in higher education

    In the past few decades data processing and in-company communication has changed significantly. First there were only a few computers purchased at companies, therefore departments developed applications that covered corporate administration which lead to so called isolated solutions. These days with the spread of electronic data processing the greatest problem for companies is not gaining information – since they can be found in all sorts of databases and data warehouses as internal or external information – rather producing information that is necessary in a given situation. What can help to solve this situation? It is informatics, more precisely ERP systems which have substituted software that provided isolated solutions at companies for decades. System based thinking is important in their application beside the fact that only data absolutely necessary for managerial decisions must be produced. This paper points out why we consider practice oriented teaching of ERP systems in higher education important.

  • Comparative yield risk calculations of sour cherry and pear varieties regarding risk aversion

    Fruit production in the world is increasing continuously. Though in the past few years China and some South-American countries have extended their fruit producing areas, Europe remains to be one of the greatest fruit producers in the world. In the middle of Europe Hungary has to face several challenges as competing for market. Since yield risk has an important role in Hungarian fruit production we investigate the yield risk of two of the most important sour cherry varieties (’Újfehértói fürtös’ and ’Oblacsinszka’) grown in Újfehértó (1984-2005), moreover, two of the most important pear varieties (’Bosc Beurre’ and ’Williams’) grown in Bánfa and Zalasárszeg (1984-2009). In the examined periods we analyse yield risk with different comparative methods such as E,V-efficiency, first and second degree as well as generalized stochastic dominance methods. We conclude that the production of sour cherry variety ’Oblacsinszka’ in Újfehértó is more preferable compared to the other sour cherry varieties and pear variety ’Bosc Beurre’ in Bánfa is more advantageous than the other pear varieties and sites.

  • Knowledge and acceptance research of use of vine-branch in micro region of Gyöngyös

    Significant quantity of renewable plant biomass comes into existence in Hungary year by year. Nowadays there are different wellknow possibilities for utilization. However these methods are not widely accepted. The most important obstacle is frequently caused by lack of knowledge of farmers. Without the necessary information the farmers become distrustful, and in many cases significantly decrease the efficiency of reclamation. Targeted communication method should be used to improve the rates of utilization. It should include appropriate content to their knowledge. This study research the knowledge and the acceptance of vine-branch utilization circle of wine-grower in micro region of Gyöngyös by questionnaire survey. We will know why the use of by-products has not spreaded yet circle of wine-grower and where they get their information from. The typically fragmented farms do not utilize because they do not know the process for doing or other people cultivate their vine-yard so they have not necessary machine. The questionnaire ask the farmers they want to offer their vine-branch a user factory.The questionnaires was completed by personal request. The reason of methods was the bigger rate of query. The questionnaire include question about the farm, the use of vinebranch and data of farmers. The villages were asked the rates of wine-grower. The aim of the research the rational utilize of by-product by wine-growers year by year. With the results of questionnaire survey we can inform the farmers with the appropriate method about the necessary knowledge.

  • Is it the right direction? The audit of business strategy

    In the audit the process of strategic planning the management focuses the social expectations, threats and opportunities of the environment as well as the expectations of the owners. The main question is how much are the strategic tasks is matching with the environmental and corporate resources and capabilities. The answer which raised in strategy audit evaluates the ability to break the implementation barriers. A strategy is worth to realize only if we get satisfying answers to the questions related to the audit. A complex strategy audit method helps to appraise how the planning process is integrated.

  • Consumer potential analysis of feasibility criteria of geothermal projects

    The University of Debrecen, Faculty of Engineering, has been conducting a research program in geothermal energy since 2008. This program enabled me to devise an analytical study of the monetary and non-monetary criteria of geothermal projects. The monetary criteria of a region or a location for geothermal energy production cover the investment costs of the surface installations and the cost of the drillings. Non-monetary criteria include the geological and geothermal evaluations of a reservoir and the evaluation of consumer potential. This paper represents a small part of the larger study and focuses on consumer potential.

  • The effects of the global economic crisis on the markets for fossil and renewable fuels

    The 2008/2009 world economic crisis had significant impact on oil and fuel markets. This crisis has been developed from the meltdown of the American mortgage and financial market and spread throughout the global economy. As each country reacted differently to the crisis, the changes in the fuel market have also shown significant geographic variation. In our present research, the changes of the US, German and Hungarian fuel markets were analysed, looking for answers to the reasons behind different crisis reactions. We examined the tendency of fuel consumption, the changes of gasoline and diesel price elasticity and the possible effects of the crisis on the regulatory system.

  • Performance indicators in CSR and sustainability reports in Hungary

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Corporate Sustainability reporting is a relatively new phenomenon in Hungary. As the external pressure from the civil society, public authorities and the media has so far been fairly low, this important corporate activity emerged only at the beginning of the last decade. In spite of this, several pioneering companies have started to publish information on its environmental and social performance in recent years. CSR and sustainability reports are seen increasingly as strategic documents that offer a balanced, objective, and comprehensive assessment of a firm’s non-financial performance. In 2008 and 2009, more than a third of the 100 largest companies reported on their non-financial results (most of them were GRI based reports). In 2010, sixty-one organisations published a report about their non- financial performance, and 22 of these for only the first time. The aim of this paper is to present recent attempts to use indicators in CSR and sustainability reports. On the basis of a detailed review of 70 CSR/sustainability reports published during the last 9 years in Hungary, an analysis was made on the performance indicators appearing in the reports. The motivations of indicator selection processes was analysed and the intended roles of indicator set in communication and strategy design was presented. The significance of and limits to the proposed indicators was discussed.

  • The new strategic directions of rural development in Hungary

    The notion of sustainability is the basis for our future possibilities. Local sustainability, in the centre of which can be found the livable settlement, is especially important in rural areas.Without developing rural areas, there is no developing society. The growth of the Earth’s population and the world economy has already surpassed the carrying capacity of this planet which may result in an “overshoot and collapse”. This can still be prevented today. The population of towns and cities is rapidly increasing. Urbanization is a very fast process, even in Hungary. In large cities with millions of inhabitants crime and lumpen lifestyle pose huge problems. However, the bases of a successful economy are morals and a puritan lifestyle, which so far have characterized rural villages. 70% of the poor and needy live in rural areas in the developing countries and agriculture provides livelihood for 40% of the world’s population. The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was established in 2002 by FAO and theWorld Bank to learn more about the role of agricultural science and technology. After the positive decision some comprehensive summaries were made on all the related topics with the participation of 400 scientists. The assessment provided many lessons to learn and at the 2008 closing sessions in Johannesburg, the reports were accepted and it was proved that rural areas have a significant role in providing adequate means of earning a livelihood. The Ministry of Rural Development composed a domestic-level study with the title of the National Rural Strategy. The objectives stated in the study can be seen as the main directions of the Hungarian rural strategy. The land policy aims to support the 50–70 hectare family farms and have the agricultural lands under national authority. The population must be provided with ample and safe food. The priority of local economy, local sale, and local markets is important. The positive exploitation of our natural resources may result in the strengthening of rural areas. The deterioration of rural areas must be stopped. In order to halt these processes swiftly fundamental, patriotic economic and social policy changes, a strong people’s party, a short-run crisis treating and a medium-long-run strategic development and action plan are needed which is based on the respect of work and moral norms, national cooperation, solidarity, and the defense of our mutual interests rather than on speculation (ÁNGYÁN, 2010). The greatest problem of Hungary is low employment.Workplaces may be created in the least expensive and the fastest manner in irrigational agriculture. In order to achieve this, the role of the state must be reconsidered and EU rules on state intervention must be reviewed.

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