Within the Hungary-Romania Cross-Border Co-operation Programme for 2007-2013 the University of Debrecen and the University of Oradea is to elaborate a soil strategy for the Nyírség and Bihor Mts region.Project partners expect the strategy will support and strenghten national, regional and local soil policies and contribute to the competitiven...ess of the region by protecting and developing various soil functions.Project partners also expect to prevent cross-border problems with soil and reduce the competition caused by cost differences.The elaboration of the strategy includes the problems of erosion, deflation, compaction, water-deficiency, inland water-threat, problems induced by the usage of fertilizers, loss and substitution of soil organic matter, amelioration (bentonite, sewage sludge, fermented biogas). Based on summarised data of former examinations and new experiments a concise database will make it possible to calculate and apply the Sustainability Index Model, which may be useful in order to address EU supports properly based on objective calculations,and may be useful to determine the optimal culture. The project also encourages the farmers to keep in mind the cross-compliance, since EU gives financial support to realise sustainable soil strategy based on EU directives. This may enhance the options to initiate the take off of rural areas with shrinking export facilities, to mitigate social tensions and the effect of migration processes.
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.
Within the Hungary-Romania Cross-Border Co-operation Programme for 2007-2013 the University of Debrecen and the University of Oradea is to elaborate a soil strategy for the Nyírség and Bihor Mts region. Project partners expect the strategy will support and strenghten national, regional and local soil policies and contribute to the competitive...ness of the region by protecting and developing various soil functions. Project partners also expect to prevent cross-border problems with soil and reduce the competition caused by cost differences.The elaboration of the strategy includes the problems of erosion, deflation, compaction, water-deficiency, inland water-threat, problems induced by the usage of fertilizers, loss and substitution of soil organic matter, amelioration (bentonite, sewage sludge, fermented biogas). Based on summarised data of former examinations and new experiments a concise database will make it possible to calculate and apply the Sustainability Index Model, which may be useful in order to address EU supports properly based on objective calculations, and may be useful to determine the optimal culture. The project also encourages the farmers to keep in mind the cross-compliance, since EU gives financial support to realise sustainable soil strategy based on EU directives. This may enhance the options to initiate the take off of rural areas with shrinking export facilities, to mitigate social tensions and the effect of migration processes.
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 ga...ses 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.
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 agric...ulture 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 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.
Climate change is considered as one of the biggest challenges of XXI century and global action is needed to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHG) and adapt to changing water levels and temperatures, which affect food supply and ecosystem integrity. Climate change will have significant economic and social impacts in many regions of EU and sectors like... agriculture is considered to bear greater adverse affects. Less developed regions and certain sections of society (the elderly and/or low-income households) are expected to suffer more from climate change. Climate change policy of EU, adopted in December 2008, includes ambitious targets for 2020. The policy is focused on a sustainable future with an energy-efficient economy by (i) cutting greenhouse gases by 20% (30% if international agreement is reached), (ii) reducing energy consumption by 20% through increased energy efficiency and iii) meeting 20% of energy needs from renewable sources. In the frame of the headline targets of Europe 2020 Strategy, this paper discusses most important greenhouse gas-emitting activities in agriculture, emphasizes the importance structural changes through the modernisation of infrastructure particularly in developing regions of EU and calls for enhancing the competitiveness of economy to promote energy efficiency.
Debrecen is the capital of the Great Hungarian Plain, the centre of many institutions, organizations and business companies just in the heart of Europe. It has provided an ideal setting for higher education since 1538. With this past of more than 450 years, the University of Debrecen is the oldest higher educational institution in continuous op...eration in Hungary based in the same city. Higher education in agriculture began in 1868, when the National Higher School of Agriculture was formed in Debrecen. The University of Debrecen has more than 26 000 students, and more than 1700 instructors teach at the University, which has 13 faculties, 2 independent institutions, 20 doctoral schools and offers the widest choice of higher education. This outstanding intellectual centre, with a vast research and development capacity, has a growing importance in the economic and social development, cultural progress of the region. It devotes special attention to serving the needs of a knowledge based society more efficiently, and it strives to become the knowledge centre of the region, which also preserves traditions and values.