Vol. 4 No. 1-2 (2010)

Published July 30, 2010

This ‘Apstract’ contains a special issue with papers
presented during the conference on the occasion of the
100th anniversary of the Department of Farm Management
of Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS)
in December 2009. Apart from the special issue you will
find many other interesting contributions. The deputy
editors, Prof. Dr András Nábrádi and Prof. Dr János
Lazányi, and the Agroinform Publishing House
Hungary in Budapest deserve a great compliment for all
the excellent work they have done to publish this issue.
The history of the department of Farm Management in
Warsaw goes back to the year 1909 when the “Society
of Scientific Courses” [Towarzystwo Kursow Naukowych]
was established as the first legal, independent
higher education institution acting in the part of Poland
still occupied by Russia before the first World War. The
small unit of Farm Management became a department
of Warsaw Agricultural University in 1918, which was
renamed WULS recently. During the conference, which
was very well organized, an interesting overview was
given of agriculture in several parts of Europe.
In a previous issue of Apstract (Numbers 5–6, Vol. 3) it
was mentioned that the AVA international congress, held
in Debrecen March 26–27, 2009, was to become a
bi-annual event. This has become true. The second
AGRIMBA-AVA congresswill be organized inWageningen
on June 23–24, 2011. I am looking forward to this great
event and expect many visitors from all over Europe and
beyond. More information about the conference can be
found on www.aep.wur.nl/uk/agrimbacongress.
The international study week has become an important
part of our MBA-programmes. Especially in May 2010
the organizers lead by Dr Elena Kovtun did a good job
in Kiev. It is interesting to see how MBA students and
staff get along so well and how much can be achieved
when participants cooperate intensively. Further, the
MBA-programmes in Kiev, Warsaw and Zagreb were
(re)accredited by the Board during the General Board
Meeting in Zagreb on June 16, 2010. Congratulations
to all that are involved!
I would like to take the opportunity to welcome the new
members of our international network. Colleagues from
Belgorod (Russia), Kazan (Russia), Nitra (Slovakia),
and Ulan Bataar (Mongolia) have joint us. Many of
them will attend the AGRIMBA-AVA Conference in
June and there will be ample possibilities to meet and
discuss possible cooperation with them.



  • Multifunctional agriculture: An engine of regional economic growth?

    The historical role of agriculture in economic geography and recent conceptual developments – including multifunctional agriculture (MFA), the new economic geography, amenity-driven growth, and the “world is flat” and “creative class” hypotheses – are examined, and recent empirical research in NorthAmerica and Europe is reviewed, in order to assess the potential for MFA as an engine of regional economic growth. Ideal MFA policy corrects market failures and is mostly amenity-augmenting. It has the capacity to enhance opportunities for farmers on urban fringe; stimulate growth in high-amenity rural regions accessible to cities that offer opportunities for high-value work; and generate growth in relatively remote high-amenity regions. The scope for market-failure-correcting MFA policy to propel economic growth in lessfavored regions is limited – remoteness is non-responsive to policy in the short to medium term, and amenities that attract in-migration (e.g. proximity to sea, lakes, mountains, pleasant climate) are givens for favored locations but can at best be complemented by pro-active policy – but not trivial. While this paper focuses on regional economic growth, it well to rememberthat growth is not everything. Regions unlikely to experience growth need to create satisfying futures. Market-failure-correcting MFA policy has the potential to improve quality of life, well-being, and perhaps incomes in many if not all rural places regardless of location. This accomplishment would not be trivial – economic growth for all regions regardless of resources, amenities, and remoteness is not a serious prospect, and regions in decline face daunting problems maintaining essential services and quality of life.

  • Understanding the demand side and coordinating the supply side for connected goods and services

    This paper addresses the coordination and innovation issues needed for promoting value added at the rural and regional level. There are two sides to value added: the ability to meet consumer demand, and to identify least cost ways of supplying the demanded goods. Human and social capital plays an important role on both sides. At the municipality level the supply side issues are complex. First, because the production space has far more dimensions than for the single entrepreneur. Second, because the value of some goods and services produced depend on what other goods and services that is available. On the supply side networks are important to solve the coordination issues, while networks for identifying and understanding consumer preferences are important on the demand side. Participation in these two network types compete for the same scarce resource, the time of the inhabitants of a municipality. We address these issues in more detail. A major insight from our work is that in addition to the time conflict, innovation and new information may make it more difficult to maintain coordination networks.

  • Measuring efficiency of intellectual capital in agriculture sector of Vojvodina

    During three-hundred-year history of the market economy, the main sources of wealth creation have changed from the natural resources (mainly land and relatively unskilled labor with the exception of the master craftsman), tangible material assets (buildings, machinery and equipment, funds) to intangible assets (knowledge and information of all types) that may be contained in the people, organizations, or physical resources. In the later period of the twentieth century, science has acquired the features of direct production force. The term direct implies that unlike the relationship which existed between science and production in the IXX century, where scientific advances was incorporated through the physical labor in the tools, which, in turn, created new value through the physical labor, the relationship between science and production has become all direct, immediate, because the scientific advances allowed the funds to be produced with less labor and allowed funds itself to become "smarter" and as such to require less human intervention and human physical labor in the final production process.As a result, the need for physical labor continuously declined with time, and the application of labor is moved from direct production to processes of preparing and organizing production. Also, a large part of today's knowledge that is used in production is not embodied in machinery, and the effects of this are immense.

  • Evaluating linkage between operators’ satisfaction and potential of local resources for rural tourism: Evidence from Matsuura in Japan

    As rural tourism evolves into diversification, the connection between the individual and local resource management is becoming an important issue for the sustainable evolution of rural tourism. To explore this point, we investigated conceptually and empirically whether rural tourism operators’individual satisfaction enhances utilization of local resources and, if so, what mechanism works for it by focusing on rural tourism accompanied by an educational program, i.e. a farm-stay with farm and rural experience services implemented as a part of school trips in Matsuura, Japan. From statistical tests and an econometric estimation based on a questionnaire survey of rural tourism operators we found that operators’individual satisfaction gained from interchange with visitors and direct feedback can positively enhance locally exerted effects that stimulate operators to recognize opportunities within their community and raise the potential for local resource use. Thus, we should strengthen this connection to eventually create a new viable activity.

  • Selection of agricultural land for multifunctional agriculture

    The modern concept of rural development implies the use of agricultural resources, primarily agricultural land, for other (non-agricultural) activities besides its agricultural purpose. The integral aim of this concept of rural development is the maximization of economic results, besides the sustainable development of rural areas, environmental protection and the production of strategic (staple) agricultural products. The objective of this paper is to define the general, theoretical, quantitative model for the determination of the size and quality of agricultural land which, considering the above-mentioned demands (criteria), is optimal for the utilization in agricultural production in certain regions. The remaining agricultural land would be available for the non-agricultural purposes. The economic optimal model for the selection of agricultural land in the traditional agriculture is the model of linear programming. The criteria of the land selection for traditional agriculture are the economic effectiveness (measured by net income or by gross national product) and the economic efficiency (measured by the production economy). The maximum economic effectiveness is determined by the standard method of linear programming and the maximum economy by the method of broken linear programming. The solution of compromise can be determined by multi-criteria programming, based on the minimum differences. The limitation groups in the mentioned variations of the model are: limitations of production quotas of agricultural products, minimum quantities of staple agricultural products, limitations of processing plants in a region (minimum and maximum), limitation of crop rotation, limitations of the needs in animal husbandry for bulky for age and limitations of agricultural land according to various types of utilization. By quantitative defining of the structure and size of agricultural land for traditional agriculture, “the surplus” and structure of agricultural land available for non-agricultural purposes is automatically determined.

  • Multifunctionality of agriculture, public policies and scientific evidences: Some critical issues of contemporary controversies

    Various theoretical models of public policy analysis are used to treat situations of decision-making in which public deciders have to take into account the multifunctionality of agriculture. For some, science-society relations are not really problematical. Others acknowledge the current attempts of these policy-makers to find adequate scientific knowledge, and the difficulties they encounter. These difficulties stem partly from the very content of knowledge produced by research. Could other modes of production be more efficient? The status of the knowledge produced by these approaches is a subject of debate. Bridging the divide between science and policy more effectively is not only a question of knowledge brokerage.Accessibility and reliability of the existing evidences are also problems to be addressed. The debates around evidence-based practices may provide some landmarks in this new situation although they also emphasize the limits of the tools that can be built for this purpose.


  • The importance of organic agriculture in tourism rural

    Many farmers, in addition to normal farming activity, have already turned to agritourism as a source of additional farm income and opportunities. There are numerous benefits from the development of agritourism: it may strengthen local economy, create job opportunities and new businesses; develop and promote training and certification programs to introduce young people to agriculture and environment. Agritourism helps preserve rural lifestyles and landscape and also offers the opportunity to provide "sustainable" or "green" tourism. Organic agriculture is a cultural evolution that finds its origins in a environmentalist culture. Furthermore the focus on these products is due to demand on healthy foods with high quality standard limiting chemical substances usage. It’s clear the link of the organic agriculture with agritourism and tourism services. They have a considerable role in the future development of rural areas. The purpose of this paper was to identify and examine those factors that have helped rural communities successfully develop agritourism, in particular organic agritourism and its entrepreneurship opportunities. Several focus groups were conducted with local business persons and leaders about a applicative case of South Italy area.

  • Educational projects – support for development of tourism and rural areas in Serbia

    The paper presents three mini-projects that have been implemented by The Institute of Agricultural Economics – Belgrade in the 2006–2008 period. Those were special educational projects in agriculture and rural development, whereas extension activities were concentrated onto three topics: farm management, support of rural development and improvement of small farms. Implementation of projects took place on the territory of the South Banat County and some Belgrade city communes. The projects intended to solve current problems of sustainable agriculture and rural development. Within the projects there were identified priorities related to investments, strategic planning and tourism. Educational activities were aimed at a number of holders or members of their registered farms. Dynamics of the projects' implementation included introduction and discussion with a number of farmers, formation of small groups, preparation and making of materials, a series of theoretical lectures and determination of the joint work results. Education programs are aiming at improvement of the farm holders' knowledge in the field of business and management. Specific objectives of training are to increase sales of goods and services at domestic and foreign market, to increase competitiveness in a particular market, to achieve higher profits, to create new jobs and improve living conditions in rural areas. Evaluation of projects was related to determination of level, to which there were achieved set objectives, then to define implementation of projects in accordance with the plan, as well as to determine an impact of educational activities to promotion of knowledge concerning business and management.

  • Current situation and development of the bee-keeping sector in Hungary

    Rural development has become more and more important issue in Hungary since rural areas also contribute to the efficiency of the national economy. Development of rural areas also very important issue in the European Union, which could contribute to the improvement of profitability of small family businesses, higher employment rate in rural areas as well as slow down the migration of people from rural into urban areas. Nowadays the bee-keeping– as one of the activities can provide alternative income for small businesses in rural areas– has become more and more important topic in Hungary. Bee-keeping sector provides income roughly 15 thousands families in Hungary. At the same time it takes important role in the preservation of rural landscape, traditions and their regional values. However, the sector has serious problems, as well (for instance quality issues, competitors on the market, etc.). It can be stated that the market position of Hungarian honey can be preserved through the improvement of quality assurance and product development. These developments can be carried out by the utilization of national and European Union funds.

  • A structural equation model: Greece’s tourism demand for tourist destination

    Structural equation model (LISREL 8) was applied to test the causal relationships between tourist travel motivations and tourist destination.A survey containing Likert scale questions was conducted to collect data from 100 tourists who had travelled to Greece’s tourist destination. With the help of factor analysis, four dimensions were identified for scales used in the study: travel cost satisfaction, tourism product, tourism product attributes, and tourism product management. Results indicated that the travel cost satisfaction of tourists has a positive influence on tourism product, tourism product attributes and tourism product management. Moreover, our results suggested that the tourist demographics has a positive influence on tourism product and tourism product attributes and has an insignificant relationship with tourism product management. Based on our findings the tourist demographics has not influence on tourism product management. However, these findings suggest that both the private tourism and the governmental tourism sector should develop a better management of tourist destinations so as to develop a stronger attraction of tourism, better amenities, a better accessibility, an appropriate image, to make tourism competitive and to keep tourism product prices at a reasonable level. The implications of the tourism demand model can be used for the public environmental policy-making process based mainly on reasons of interest, ideology or understanding.


  • Reducing consumption of food with high level of fat, sugar and/or salt among young generation

    The young generation is the most influenced and vulnerable segment of the market. Food with high level of fat, sugar and/or salt are popularised for this segment.At the same time nearly 7 people die of obesity or from complications of obesity in Hungary each hour – one every 9minutes. Less than 10% of youth are of the belief of eating healthy and more then one third of youth don’t take care about healthy eating. The young generation can be especially influenced by use of well-known persons, prize games and free gifts. The idea of fat tax’s introduction could be an obvious proposal.

  • The use of models in optimizing the field crop production in agricultural enterprise - MBA thesis

    The full use of resource capacities of agricultural enterprises favorably affects the general increase in economic efficiency and rational production making them more competitive in the market. This creates the need for constant improvement of business strategies that uses all available resources to create the most profitable production. The main objective of this study was to find the ideal structure of production in agricultural enterprise and to enable the realization of maximum profit using the available production resources (land, mechanization, labor forces). As the basic method of planning, this study used the simplex method of linear programming which gives the most profitable sowing structure after detailed analysis of resources and achieved results, based on the limitations and gross margin. This work showed that the use of modern methods in production planning is one of the cheapest and safest methods for development of agricultural enterprises.

  • The economic aspects of innovation in sheep breeding

    During my investigations, I highlighted three innovations, all of which serve the production of a final product, sheep kefir. This product contains a unique added value and involves several innovational opportunities. I examined the complex economic analysis of the innovations and technological elements investigated with respect to revenues from the sale of sheep milk, sheep cheese (kashkaval) and sheep kefir. The kashkaval-type sheep cheese does not contain sufficient added value to cover the costs of innovational investments. Investigating the innovational activity for developing sheep kefir and for its market introduction, its cash flow balance becomes positive already in the second year after realization, and is able to generate significant profit.

  • Agricultural policy and rural development

    The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a cornerstone of EU policy relating to rural areas. Initially, it aimed to provide a harmonised framework for maintaining adequate supplies, increasing productivity and ensuring that both consumers and producers received a fair deal in the market. These priorities have shifted to environmental and animal welfare concerns, as well as food safety and security aspects. As a consequence, the CAP has gradually moved from a production-based structure of subsidies to a market-oriented system, integrating standards for food, environment and biodiversity, as well as animal welfare. In 2010, the EU launched an extensive debate on the future of the CAP, as the European Union needs a better tailored, reformed Common Agricultural Policy to answer the challenges of food, growth and jobs in rural areas. The European agriculture must address the expectations of rural society and demands of the market concerning public goods, the environment and climate change. This raises questions of whether the CAP payments in the past have been effective in achieving their objectives and whether direct payments should be continued for supporting agricultural environmental issues.

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