production economics; farm management; agricultural policy; agricultural environmental issues; tourism; regional planning; rural development; methodology; marketing of agricultural and food products; international trade; development; sport management


Adaptations to potential impacts of climate change in the “New Hungary” Rural Development Programme

There are evidences that the climate is changing and the effects on agriculture and wildlife are discernible. Spring is occurring earlier and autumn later, all of which have impacts on agriculture and forestry. Climate change is also predicted to result in more frequent droughts, increased flooding in Hungary, but the relationship between agriculture and climate change is more complex. Climate change has physical effects on farming and farm based wildlife. Agriculture needs to adapt to climate change by exploring, which crops and farming systems are best adapted to the changed conditions. Land management also needs to adapt to preserve biodiversity by protecting valuable habitats and species and helping them in the changing environment. With better management, agriculture and forestry can also mitigate climate change by reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions from land use, land use change and forestry, by producing crops as a source of renewable energy and by protecting carbon stored in soils and in manure. The HRDP comprises of a series of funding based on the following overarching priorities: (i) enhance the environment and countryside, (ii) making agriculture and forestry more competitive and sustainable, (iii) enhancing opportunity in rural areas, whether in the farming sector or the broader rural economy. Actions discussed in this paper are based on the New Hungary Rural Development Programme (2007–2013) and focused on reducing the effects of climate change in rural area. Establishment of agro-forestry systems and integrated pest management help mitigation goals and increase climate change adaptation potential. Minimizing unwanted side effects of agriculture by reducing the use of fertilizer and increasing the safety for environment (soil, water, and air) and human health have positive effects on adaptation potential. Restoration of agricultural production though diversification of agriculture and pastures management, improvement in drain age and irrigation equipment are good examples of adaptation for climate change. Integrated production, which is oriented to controlled cultivation of crops, vine, fruits and vegetables, and improvement of animal rearing conditions to increase production standards and overall welfare are preferred and ecologically sound methods of adaptation.

The climate change and agriculture – dimensions and correlations

Global climate changes are taking place and its impacts on economy are already occurring in fields like tourism, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure, insurance industry or capital market. Specialists draw attention that climate change has negative effects and positive effects. For example, in some parts of Europe, especially in north, the agricultural may benefit from temperature rise increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The most important part of these changes is due to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity. Between greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest contributor with a weight around of 80% of total GHG emissions. The agriculture is the most affected sector by the climate change, but agricultural activities have many negative implications on environment through emissions of methane and nitrous oxide that result from changes in land use. Besides the negative impact, the agriculture may play a positive role to environment protection through the production of bio fuels. Because of the huge implications of climate change on human activities, the public authorities have made important steps in order to control this phenomenon, to reduce and prevent the negative impact.

Mitigation activities to reduce emission of agricultural greenhouse gases in Hungary

Pressure on natural resources and the global environment have been identified as the most important challenges to maintain prosperity and improve environmental care. Agriculture is responsible for only a small proportion of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but the sector is more closely associated with emissions of other greenhouse gases such as methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The global warming potential of agricultural activities defined as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in CO2 equivalents is relatively low in Hungary, when calculated per land area. However this difference decline, when a GHG emission is calculated per product unit, as yields are lower then in West European countries. Environmental load caused by agriculture is also low in Hungary, where increasing part of EU resources are used for the long-term preservation of natural resources and for the raising of awareness of sustainable farming. The strength of the environmental situation of Hungary, consist of several elements, such as the rich bio-diversity, the significant size of territories falling under natural protection, the extent and importance of forests and the low environmental load from crop production. Among the weaknesses the nitrate load of the animal husbandry farms, the increasing water and wind erosion, the soil compaction and degradation have to be taken into consideration. Climate change has high risk potential and the mitigation activities of the New Hungary Rural Development Programme (HRDP) are investigated in this paper with the aim to increase mitigation activities in rural area and reduce the causes of climate change.


Carbon dioxide emission trends and environmental problems in Central Europe

In this research, the effect of CO2 emission was measured in two different land-use types (Crop and Grassland) in Central European and V4 countries. The primary aim of this study is to identify the significant output of CO2 emissions from cropland and grassland. Secondary data collected from FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) between 2010 and 2017. Mann-Whitney U test and odds ratio used to study the differences between the two country groups, and Principal Component Analysis was applied to create a performance map regarding the emission. A General Additive Panel model has analyzed the influence of area sizes and the regional differences on emissions. Results showed that the effect of grassland size is the primary factor in CO2 emission. A significant difference can only be found between CEU and V4 countries regarding grassland size effect on CO2 emission under grassland, which was rather small in the case of the V4 group but explained a larger part of the variance the of CEU countries. The odds of having higher CO2 from cropland to grassland was 2.43 times in the case of V4 compared to CEU countries.



Potential impact of the European Green Agreement on EU and Hungarian crop production

European arable farming, including Hungarian arable farming, faces a huge dilemma: how to contribute to and maintain the global food supply while reducing greenhouse gas emissions while main taining biodiversity, but reducing inputs that are potentially damaging to society and the environment while ensuring that no more land is taken out of production? Not to mention that the increasingly urgent need to tackle climate change is also placing additional demands on EU agricultural decision-makers. Under the European Green Deal (GD), the 'From Farm to Fork' (F2F) strategy will help achieve climate neutrality by 2050, with a target of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Achieving this will require significant changes in food production, a shift in crop health strategies and accelerated innovation in the agricultural sector. The study addresses these issues. Our first hypothesis (A1) is that the GD and F2F strategies can be implemented without problems and without losses. Our second assumption (A2) is that the know-how solutions and the technological conditions for precision agriculture that are already available exist, and that all of these already justify the feasibility of A1. In order to prove this, we have reviewed recent and up-to-date literature on DG and F2F. For A1, we found that there are pro and con findings in the literature. However, the summary finding is not positive. The conclusion of the studies, based on data calculations, is that EU agriculture faces huge additional costs if it is to maintain production and reduce environmental pressures. Their calculations suggest that more people will be disadvantaged by the decisions, and that millions of euros could be lost to the public. However, the article also shows that there are many cases where positive results can be achieved even with reduced chemical use. Facts and figures from international and Hungarian technological and know-how solutions and their trials at plant level show that the DG's objectives are already partially achievable. It has been established that the systematic use of precision technologies allows to increase the natural and at the same time the economic efficiency. In our work we have used the results of primary and recent secondary research. We have shown the downsides of GD, but also that with targeted support, the objectives of sustainability and GD can be approached. Changes in 2022, drastic price increases for inputs including fertilizers and pesticides, inflation at a 20-year high, energy prices spiraling out of control, and an almost unprecedented drought affecting crop production and horticulture, point to the need for a radical change in technology, thinking and regulation. And all this to ensure that there is enough affordable food in Hungary, that there are export products within and outside the Community, and that those working in agriculture have a decent living.