Vol 3, No 1-2 (2009)

Published May 30, 2009

Issue Description

In front of you lie nrs 3 and 4 of the 2nd volume of our
recently established journal APSTRACT. It appears that
there is a great need for a journal like ours. The reasons for
that are the way the journal is connected to the field of
research and the professional network that carries it.
Many researchers feel that the longer established
scientific journals pay little attention to applied research in
the field of agribusiness. Further, at present, the Network for
the MBA in Agribusiness and Commerce (AGRIMBA) is a
well established institution that connects numerous scientists
in the field looking for an outlet of their research results.
Often they are also engaged in lecturing in one of the MBA
programmes. This makes APSTRACT an excellent medium to
communicate recent research results to MBA students. Also
the students themselves are invited to publish short versions
of their theses. This is a stimulus for them to perform as good
as possible and it provides good examples of subjects of
theses for students who still have to write one.
The AGRIMBA network is growing and so does the
number of readers of APSTR. . .

In front of you lie nrs 3 and 4 of the 2nd volume of our
recently established journal APSTRACT. It appears that
there is a great need for a journal like ours. The reasons for
that are the way the journal is connected to the field of
research and the professional network that carries it.
Many researchers feel that the longer established
scientific journals pay little attention to applied research in
the field of agribusiness. Further, at present, the Network for
the MBA in Agribusiness and Commerce (AGRIMBA) is a
well established institution that connects numerous scientists
in the field looking for an outlet of their research results.
Often they are also engaged in lecturing in one of the MBA
programmes. This makes APSTRACT an excellent medium to
communicate recent research results to MBA students. Also
the students themselves are invited to publish short versions
of their theses. This is a stimulus for them to perform as good
as possible and it provides good examples of subjects of
theses for students who still have to write one.
The AGRIMBA network is growing and so does the
number of readers of APSTRACT. That also shows in our
Editorial Board. In order to improve the efficiency of the
work we decided to split the Editorial Board into three parts:
Deputy Editors, Executive Editorial Board and Honorary
Editorial Board. Especially the excellent work of the Deputy
Editors, András Nábrádi and János Lazányi, is gratefully
acknowledged here. Further, I am happy to welcome a
number of new members in our Honorary Editorial Board:
Csaba Csaki (Budapest), Akimi Fujimoto (Tokyo), Peter
Bielik (Nitra) and Danilo Tomic (Novi Sad), all four well
known scientists in the field that we are covering.
Finally, I am confident that because of the quality of the
articles, the excellent members of our Editorial Board, and
its growing role as a medium of communication for the
professional network, APSTRACT has a great future.

More

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Articles

Efficiency indicators in different dimension
7-22

There are several variations of efficiency definitions and of course ratios concerned with efficiency. A better understanding of the notion of efficiency is critical to dissolve ambiguity about it. Many confuse efficiency with other supposedly synonymous notions such as profitability, successfulness, competitiveness, liquidity or productivity. ...This ambiguity originates not only in subjective reasons, but the lack of hierarchical order among certain ideas. The primary driver in our research is, to systematize efficiency in general, and formulate a new categorical approach of the efficiency in corporate level.

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27
6
Less favoured area measure in the Netherlands: a welcome or negligible addition?
23-28

The Less Favoured Areas (LFAs) Directive (75/268) which was introduced in 1975, was the first common European instrument of regional agricultural structural policy. LFAs are areas where agriculture is hampered by permanent natural handicaps. The major objectives were to ensure the continuation of farming, thereby maintaining a minimum populatio...n level and preserving scenic landscapes and environmentally valuable habitats. In the Netherlands, the LFA measure is used as an additional payment, to compensate farmers for negative economic effects due to the conservation of these natural handicaps. It was not implemented as a stand alone policy, but is linked to measures aiming at active nature and landscape conservation management. In this paper, the effects will be examined of the regulations aiming at the conservation of natural handicaps on farm businesses within LFAs, when comparing them to farm businesses outside LFAs, where these regulations and handicaps do not exist. The main data source that was used is the Farm Accountancy Data Network. Reference groups of farms were compiled with the use of the simple and multiple imputation approach in Stars (Statistics for Regional Studies). Both analyses were tested with the use of a parametric and a nonparametric test. When comparing the results of both analyses, it can be concluded that there is no evidence that there is a statistical difference in family farm income corrected for and not corrected for LFA payment between the LFA farm businesses and the reference groups. Based on these findings it can be concluded that the size of the compensatory allowances is small and there is no evidence that it has a significant effect on the family farm income of LFA farm businesses. The main purpose of the Dutch LFA policy is to compensate farm businesses for negative economic effects due to the conservation of natural handicaps. Although this may be true for some individual farms, based on the methods used in this paper, it appears not to be the case for the collectivity of LFA premium beneficiaries as a whole.

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34
3
Co-innovation: what are the success factors?
29-36

The problem we address in this paper is that in projects focusing on public-private cooperation to stimulate innovation in the Netherlands, initiatives often lack continuation after the study-phase. We extracted possible influencing variables from business and (transaction) cost economic theorizing, stakeholder and capability theory. Moreover, ...we used measures for classifying projects with respect to financial interdependencies between participants. We supposed that project characteristics influence managerial behavior to continue or stop. We studied 28 projects (20 supply chain projects and 8 biological product development projects). Our aim was to explore the barriers and success factors for these co-innovation projects: innovation as a cooperative effort between public sector/research institute and private organization(s). We derived data from project descriptions and performed semi-structured interviews with project informants. Critical to success appears to be ex ante commitment of all parties. Goal congruence, both at a personal and a company level, and proportionality of sharing in project results are of decisive importance to establish such commitment. Estimations about financial project results should be made in an early stage; they should be used as a basis for negotiations on the (re)distribution of costs and benefits, especially if the value added is disproportionally distributed over the participants. Ideally, project teams of co-innovation projects should bring in complementary capabilities: technical, marketing, financial and organizational. Project governance should therefore be organized in such a way that the knowledge gaps are filled in before kick-off.

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26
3
Correction method on fairs’ attraction radius
37-41

At auditing a fair the measure and evaluation of the exhibitors’ distance is a important task and can be used for further promotion of the fair. In analyzing the attraction radius of different fairs one can discover some figures that may raise questions regarding a simple averaging of the attraction distances. According to the research of the... author, the bias in the attraction radius can be caused by to factors: the size of the attraction region and the distance from the region’s business center. Authors explored the bias factors and suggest a correction method to remedy it. A theoretical correction model was applied to evaluate three agribusiness fairs. It is established that the corrected attraction radius gives more realistic result than the simple averaging of exhibitors’ distance.

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25
2
Forecasting with X-12-ARIMA: International tourist arrivals to India and Thailand
43-61

Forecasting is an essential analytical tool in tourism policy and planning. This paper focuses on forecasting methods based on X-12-ARIMA seasonal adjustment and this method was developed by the Census Bureau in the United States. It has been continually improved since the 1960s, and it is used by many statistics agencies and central banks. The... secondary data were used to produce forecasts of international tourist arrivals to India for 2007-2010 and also these data were used to produce forecasts of international tourist arrivals to Thailand for 2006-2010. From these period the results confirm that the best forecasting method based on the X-12-ARIMA seasonal adjustment is X-12-ARIMA(0,1,2)(0,1,1), X-12-ARIMA(0,1,1)(0,1,1) and X-12-ARIMA(2,1,0)(0,1,1) for India and the best forecasting method based on this method is X-12-ARIMA(0,1,1)(0,1,1) and X-12-ARIMA(2,1,0)(0,1,1) for Thailand. Furthermore this method predict that international tourism arrivals to India for 2007–2010 will growth at a positive rate as same as in this during period the number of international tourists arrival to India will be 5,079,651 million, 5,652,180 million, 6,224,480 million and 6,796,890 million, respectively. Also this method predict that international tourism arrivals to Thailand for 2006-2010 will growth at a positive rate as same as in this during period the number of international tourists arrival to Thailand will be 12,211,033 million, 12,699,532 million, 13,187,591 million, 13,674,669 million and 14,161,998 million, respectively. If these results can be generalized for future year, then it suggests that both the India government sector and the Thailand government sector also the private tourism industry sector of these country should prepare to receive increasing numbers of international tourist arrivals both to India and Thailand in this period.

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25
15
The Position Losing of Animal Husbandry in Agriculture
63-66

The author in the presentation deals with the fact that what caused the decline of animal husbandry in contrast with plant production; how this unfavourable ratio of 60:40 could evolve when comparing plant production and animal husbandry What the reason is for the decreasing animal stock; and how the effect of changes in the elements of the eco...nomic efficiency such as yields, prices, subsidies, production value, inputs, costs, profits can be evaluated in case of more important animal husbandry enterprises highlighting several significant animal products.

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8
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Analysis of consumer habits and attitudes on the Hungarian beef and rabbit market
67-70

As a consortium partner the authors took part in a research project aiming at the development of high added value, healthy and environment friendly animal products. From among the products developed by the consortium (rabbit meat, omega3-fatty acid enriched beef, goose liver from non forcible feeding, selenium-, vitamin-E and natural color enri...ched eggs) the present study describes the results concerning beef and rabbit meat. The given products are chosen because they are produced in and exported from Hungary in considerable quantities and their competitiveness can be further improved. In order to able to map the consumer preferences a 300 count nationwide, representative, questionnaire based survey was designed and performed. Actual products were tested by focus groups and professional interviews. Beside the specific features of the products a common character is that the marketing strategy focuses on the distinctive nutritional benefits and other quality parameters that seem to be of crucial importance for the targeted consumer segment. Their unique character and health protecting effects make their branding and using community labeling easy. Their positioning points toward the prestige products therefore consumers tend to accept higher prices. In marketing communication the image building advertisement can be a common goal.

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27
6
Human resources management in small and medium enterprises
71-74

Development of small and medium enterprises (SME) represents primary goal of every modern economy. It is complex challenge which includes great number of directly concerned parties in every sector of the state and economy. SME stimulate private ownership and entrepreneurship. Their characteristic is that they are flexible and can easily adjust ...to changes in supply and demand on the market. At the same time they open possibilities for increase of employment, promote diversification of economical activities, support sustainable growth and give significant contribution to export, trade and increase the competitiveness of the entire economy. Importance of SME for economy is undisputable. All research show that globally, more than 90% of all business activities are realized by SME. SMEs employ two thirds of total labor of European Union. Approaching to European Union presumes harmonization of the systematic environment and improvement of the climate of entrepreneurship, private initiative, development of SME. This determination has strongpoint in current world processes that prefer the development of SME, utilizing their profit efficiency and established advantages relating to the adaptability of small business to dynamic changes in economy. Problem of Human resources management is very sensitive issue in SMEs. Namely, in big companies there are entire teams of agencies or consultants are hired for selection and education of new employees, whereas in SMEs this work is done by owner or manager. Therefore, in this paper several facts were pointed out which need to be considered in selection of new employees, since every mistake in this activity can cause far-reaching consequences on functioning of SME.

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23
4
The study of group and team management in agribusiness companies
75-77

For almost three decades now that the operation of groups and teams became highlighted by scientific examinations and widespread acknowledged leverage for improving corporate efficiency and effectiveness. Much is known about general conditions of operation, still little is known about managerial attitudes, behaviour in operating them. Consideri...ng the agribusiness sector, we have hundreds of years of traditions; although operational rules, internal properties, managerial aspects are poorly acknowledged. The Department of Management of University of Debrecen has been conducting research in this field for many years now. Its research program enabled me to work out a questionnaire for surveying agribusiness organizations so that I could identify major and typical characteristics of performance groups. In this article I intend to more precisely describe internal rules, relations and characteristics of this phenomenon.

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22
3
Some possibilities for risk analysis in the decision support of crop production
79-85

This article has been made according to my dissertation in which I present some opportunity of risk analysis and risk management in the decision support of crop production. Plant production is one of the most hazardous agricultural enterprises. Among risk sources seasonal fluctuation of average yields plays an important role in the assessment o...f enterprises. Therefore, I analyzed the production risk of the produced crops in Hungary compared to the European Union’s, after that I took into consideration the production site’s circumstances as well. Decision-makers must possess such means, by which they can measure, oversee and manage the effects and consequences of risk. In crop production linear programming models can be used to determine the optimal crop structure, by which income-sensitivity can be taken into account, but it does not reflect the behavior to risk. This deficiency can be avoided by using risk programming models. By the complementary usage of linear programming and risk programming models the optimizing and adaptive planning can be executed. It often causes a problem for the producers to decide when and how much to sell to realize a maximum turnover. The decision is mostly influenced by the selling prices, but also important factors are the financial status of the business, the amount of credit and its conditions, the stock piling opportunities and costs, and the short-term investment opportunities as well. For the resolution of the problem I set up a dynamic, simultaneous financial model by which the system-conceptual analysis of the above mentioned factors and a sound decision-making can be executed.

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25
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Development of commodity exchange in Croatia
87-89

Purpose of this thesis work is to show relevance and necessarity for existing of commodity exchange and it’s influence to the economy of Croatia. Because eastern part of Croatia, region called Slavonia is mostly agricultural oriented, it is of essential relevance to establish and make operate of first commodity exchange in Croatia. Widely in ...the past, while Croatia was part of Austrian – Hungarian kingdom, first commodity exchange in Europe that was established in 1853. in Budapest, practically was domestic commodity exchange for Croatian business subjects, and they were able to use benefits it brought. Me personally, and a lot of other business people and business society in Croatia belive that time to reasteblish commodity exchange has come. In this thesis, I will give a deeper look in to commodity exchange, describe acctual situation in Croatia, show posibillities that commodity exchange brings, how it works and what has to be done to implement commodity exchange and benefits it will bring to Croatian economy.

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13
3
Survey of job satisfaction and organizational climate at the University Computing Centre (Srce), Zagreb
91-92

Organizational environment determines behavior of the organization’s members. Therefore, in order to efficiently manage human resources in an organization, it is crucial to know and understand this environment. Being used to describe organizational environment, organizational climate and culture are one of the most important psychosocial cons...tructs influencing successful organization functioning and deve lop ment. During recent thirty years these constructs are attracting the interest for both – organizational behavior researchers as well as practitioners working in the field of the organizational effectiveness improvement and optimal human resources use. All of them are trying to find answers to questions related to the climate and culture nature, their ways of measurement and modification, and their causes and consequences.

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22
3
Analysis of the process of introducing euro in new member states: Defining lessons for Croatia case study: Slovenia
93-94

On 1 May 2004, EU made a historical enlargement by expanding from 15 to 25 members, and with another enlargement in 2007, EU is now a union of 27 member states. Following the new member states accession to the EU the next challenge for them is joining European Monetary Union and introducing the euro as a national legal currency. This thesis con...centrated on the analysis on how the new member states handle the process of joining the Euro-zone with the main objective to examine whether there are any possible lessons that Croatia can apply to its EMU integration path. The thesis is mainly focused on analysing the Slovenian EMU integration process, as this member state has been identified by the Croatian Authorities and Croatian National Bank as the one whose experience Croatia should try to follow. The central questions that are discussed are weather Croatia is economically and politically capable to follow the Slovenian example, and, on the other side, weather the Slovenian example is the best one to follow i.e. should Croatia introduce euro by using the quick EMU entry strategy as Slovenia did. In order to answer those questions thesis focused on analysing and explaining different strategies for euro adoption chosen by the new member states with special emphasis on the strategy of quick EMU entry approach chosen by Slovenia. The thesis also concentrated on analysing the Slovenian political and economical path from Yugoslavia to the EU and especially on its economic performance and key economic indicators prior to introducing euro. Finally, with the aim to compare the economic performance between Slovenia and Croatia and define similarities/differences in their transition and EU accession process, the thesis gave a detailed overview of the Croatian current economical and political situation. After brief analysis of all pros and cons of an early euro adoption, the thesis concluded that following the experiences of small sized countries with opened economies and strong trade orientation towards the countries of the Euro-zone, such Slovenia is, would be a comprehensive and logical strategy for Croatia. Early euro adoption would provide more benefits than costs for Croatian economy and society in general. The thesis also concluded that Croatia should face no major problems when it comes to fulfilling most of the Maastricht criterion on time, in order to be able to adopt the euro in the shortest possible period as Slovenia did. However, the thesis also highlighted that in order to do so Croatia has to put a serious emphasis on improving certain aspects of its current macroeconomic situation, in particular the one concerning the percentage of state sector deficit in the GDP and the size of public debt.

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23
2
Agribusiness higher education development – ahead: The project results at a glance
95-98

his booklet that has caught your attention contains basic information about the AHEAD project sponsored by the EU’s TEMPUS grant. This project was carried out between University of Zagreb (and other Croatian partners) and four EU-based universities. The project was very ambitious and it is my pleasure to state that the great majority of the o...bjectives were carried out with high quality during the 3 years project time span. The main results of the AHEAD project can be found in this booklet, and I would like to mention just a few of them:
• A new MBA training started in Zagreb with international recognition
• 61 subjects of 3 BSc/MSc trainings were reviewed and modified,
• a study was created in order to determine the short – and long – term expert demand of the Croatian national economy,
• computers, equipment and modern textbooks were purchased from European grant and
• finally a personal note: it was spectacular to see the rapid development of University of Zagreb and generally the whole Croatia during the last 3 years. If our project contributed just a little bit to it, the effort certainly was worthwhile.

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24
2
Trends in agriculture and food production
99-110

Agricultural reform resulted a shift from collective farming to small-scale production in China. This reform also has resulted a strong increase in gross agricultural output, which coincides with a slower increase in labour productivity. At the beginning of the reforms, agriculture accounted for 70 percent of total employment in China and still... employs more than 50%. As a result of these reforms, China has undergone impressive economic growth also in the agriculture; the country has become one of the world’s top exporters and is attracting record amounts of foreign investment. The government has also stepped up investments in rural areas to meet the market demand for agricultural products. Results are very competitive compared to Central and Eastern European countries, where agriculture accounted for only 15 percent of total employment, but agricultural reform resulted a strong decline in gross agricultural output, which coincides with a similarly strong decline in employment. When approaching the issue of sustainable agriculture, we have to take into consideration, which China and India feed the largest populations in the world and both countries have had its own agricultural successes in the past 50 years. China has used land far more efficiently than many developed countries. With nine percent of the world’s arable land, China is responsible for the greatest share of agricultural production worldwide. Volume of produced pork, eggs, wheat, cotton, tobacco, and rice has increased and China exports an increasing amount of product each year. China has opened his borders, but do not expose food consumers to price shocks and producers to risks and disincentives. In this paper, the land-tenure system and the trends of agricultural developments are analysed in China and selected countries of EU.

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