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Master training in Agribusiness and Rural Development at the University of Zagreb
Published December 31, 2007
87-91

The title of the proposed JEP project is: “Agribusiness Higher EducAtion Development” with the acronym AHEAD. This curriculum development project – in case of acceptance – will last for three years, from July 2005 and June 2008. The primary project site is the University of Zagreb, Croatia; the contractor and the co-ordinator institutio...n is the University of Debrecen, Hungary. In the consortium, 3 further European universities (University of Hohenheim, Wageningen University and Scottish Agricultural College) will participate, from the Croatian side the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and an additional 7 Croatian institutes will also be involved. The total number of members in the consortium is 13.
The main objective of the AHEAD project is to establish new BSc and MSc programmes in Croatia at two Faculties of the University of Zagreb. These are as follows: Agricultural and Rural Development, Food Safety and Quality Management and pilot MSc training in Agribusiness and Rural Development. These are preceded by faculty retraining programmes in food safety and quality management, as well as agribusiness and commerce within the framework of a MBA programme accredited by the International MBA Network. The professional content of the project is a modernised curriculum and training palette that would be available by the end of this project at the University of Zagreb, serving not only the higher education of the country, but the demand of the Croatian national economy as well, in line with the basic principles of the European Union.

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Education for rural development and agribusiness in post-socialist Slovakia
Published September 30, 2013
133-137

Agricultural education and training in the former Czechoslovakia has traditionally focused on fostering the position of cooperatives and state farms. The destruction of socialist agriculture and the reduction of commuting opportunities in the urban space during the transition have resulted in the handicapped socio-economic position of the Slova...k countryside and its population. The role of education and training in fostering agribusiness growth and rural development could therefore become a crucial strategy. The aim of this article is to analyse the current state of education and training for agribusiness and for rural development in Slovakia using the methods of literature research and document analysis. The article interprets general trends in the development of adult education in Slovakia during the transition period. The main priorities and perspectives formulated in the national strategy for education in agriculture (for the period 2007-2013) are discussed in the mentioned context. With a focus on the leading role of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, the paper assesses the current status of formal and further agricultural education and training offered in academic and other educational institutions. The paper concludes by discussing implications, recommendations and challenges for developing education and training initiatives for agribusiness and rural development.

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Spatial urban plans as a basis for agribusiness development
Published September 30, 2013
139-143

The main goals of the spatial development of rural areas are to protect and prevent degradation of agricultural land, forests and protected areas, as well as to encourage (more) balanced territorial development. Given that the quality and development of agriculture largely depend on the level of consciousness and awareness of the population in ...rural areas as to the opportunities and benefits of their involvement in the adoption and approval of planning solutions, the aim of this paper is to define a communication strategy to help raise the awareness of the focus groups (landowners, farmers and investors) of the importance of and link between spatial planning and development of agribusiness and rural areas, exploring different techniques and methods of using various communication channels. The methods which will be used in the paper include secondary research, SWOT analysis, and trend and historical analysis. The research results show that it is essential from the very beginning to take the views of various stakeholders into account through frequent thematic dialogues, in order to incorporate a consensus which has been reached together with the expert team of the developer, into planning decisions. Only such an approach can lead to sustainable and enforceable plans as prerequisites for the realisation of realistically planned investment in rural areas. Furthermore, it is very important to legally standardise such an approach so that public participation, as a mandatory legal procedure, can be defined through precisely defined steps and established performance indicators from the very beginning of the process of adopting planning documents.

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The role of education, knowledge and human resources for the agricultural development in the perspective of new cap: an hypothesis of change in Basilicata
Published June 30, 2012
123-129

The role of education, knowledge and human resources in the agribusiness becomes of primary importance for the development of agricultural sector and, more generally, of the territory. The main objective of the present paper is to verify the role of investment in human resources and, consequently, in services for the agricultural development fo...r the dynamics of rural development, trade and international cooperation of agribusiness.After a literature review, the paper firstly analyses the characteristics of the Italian Region of Basilicata, selected for our empirical application, and secondly develops an econometric model to explain the relationship between the rural GDP and a set of economic variables and of network-education-social (NES) dummy variable. These NES is representative of social, educational and, network factors, describing the degree of openness of the region firm. As expected, the results show that farmers may act as engines for economic development when they are trained on the basis of the needs and requirements related to innovation and research, and they are assisted through new models of organization of agricultural services.

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The role of agribusiness in stimulating on-farm investments – case-study of the armenian dairy sector
Published June 30, 2012
85-91

This paper analyses the impact on investments of contractual arrangements between farms and agribusiness in the Armenian dairy sector. Our empirical evidence is based on a unique survey of 300 Armenian dairy farms. The dairy sector is of particular importance as it provides vital employment and income, in an environment of weak social security ...and scarce job opportunities. Furthermore, milk production is predominantly organized in small-scale farms, which are most likely to be affected by adversarial financial conditions and limited in their opportunities to raise resources to invest. The results show that a large share of milk producers in Armenia is actively investing to upgrade their farm business. Furthermore, investment activity is not limited to large dairy farmers as over 30% of respondents with less than eight cows have made dairy-specific investments. We find that the linkages between farms and agribusiness – and more specifically the support programs that agribusiness firms offer to their suppliers – have been crucial in stimulating this restructuring process at the farm level. Interestingly, farmers with a more exclusive relationship to the buyer and farmers that deliver to more internationally oriented buyers are more likely to receive support. On the other hand, buyers that operate in a more competitive market are less likely to provide support to their suppliers. These findings have interesting policy implications. On the one hand, our results point to the gains that can be made from openness to international firms. On the other hand, the negative competition effect indicates that buyers are unable to enforce repayment of the provided farm services in an environment where a lot of buyers are competing for the same supply. Policy makers should look at ways of improving the enforcement capability of dairy companies under these circumstances.

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Agribusiness higher education development – ahead: The project results at a glance
Published May 30, 2009
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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Agribusiness higher education development – training needs analysis
Published October 31, 2008
107-120

With the tremendous changes in political and economic systems of the Republic of Croatia after independence, new challenges have been put to the higher education system as well. The system used to be structured to serve a centrally planed economy with predominantly state ownership. Universities were producing graduates to be employed on statefa...rms,inagri-foodsystems(socalled„kombinats“),the state owned processing industry or cooperatives. The graduates were specialised in particular branches, such as crop production, vegetable production or livestock husbandry. Therefore, they were not educated to understand the whole system of a company or the agri-food system. In one word, they were not prepared to run firms as managers, although they were highly educated. Small and medium size entrepreneurs in agri-food business have been rather an exception than a rule, and prior to the transition there was not to much experience in managing, financing or marketing for such a firms. 

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The study of group and team management in agribusiness companies
Published May 30, 2009
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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Agrarian budget as an instrument of agrarian development policy of Serbia
Published December 30, 2009

Purpose of the research is to emphasize the role of agrarian budget in development of Serbian agrarian economy and to examine the problem of agricultural and rural development financingsupport.Furthermore, in this research initial reforms of economic measures have been analyzed concerning Serbian agrarian policy. The goal of this paper is to pr...ovide an insight into the role of agricultural budget in agrarian policy of Serbia.The first part of the study gives an overview of macroeconomic situation in Serbia and impact of the financial crisis on Serbia’s economy. Second part includes analysis of the topic item, i.e. agrarian budget role in Serbian agrarian sector. It includes review of relevant literature and researches already conducted on legislation and practice of Serbian agrarian policy as well as examination of statistical data regarding present agrarian budget for 2009.The research focuses at the Serbian agrarian budget for 2009 and agrarian policy of the present Serbian government administration.

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The evolution of the Avacongress
Published September 30, 2009
113

In the early 1990’s MBA educations started independently in Warsaw, Prague, and Debrecen. In the middle 1990’s a small network was estblished with the mentioned institutions, as well as supporters from different universities like Wageningen, Aberdeen, Cork, later Fayetteville fromArcansas (USA). In the beginning of the 21st century the netw...ork became bigger. That time did Kiev join the Network, and started negotiations with Moscow Paralell to extended network leading by Warsaw University we applied for a EU Leonardo grant. The proposal was to develop the teaching and learning materials in the programme to a common approved standard. In order to improve the quality of teaching a set of commonly approved, standardized teaching materials had been eveleoped: Handbooks fo rmodules taught within 7 courses of the MBA programs: Public Policy, Economics, Management, Marketing, Finance, Operational Methods and International Agribusiness. Handbooks and case studies had been put on Warsaw University’s website and are now accessible for teachers and students from all academic institutions participating in the project. Materials had been developed by teams of experts in specific fields from different Universities.The whole set of materials was prepared in English. Another product of the project is the quality assurance standards applied by all MBA programs and an accreditation procedurefor the International Board. That time formulated the name AGRIMBA which is official name of the International Network on Agribusiness and Commerce.

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Market trends and consumer demand for fresh berries
Published September 30, 2013
11-14

We present an analysis of markets for fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in the United States during 2008–2011. We use weekly panel data covering supermarket purchases in 52 cities. The primary goal is to estimate demand elasticities for fresh berries and thereby provide a better understanding of consumer behaviour ...in response to price changes and the nature of competition among these crops. We estimate fixed and random effects models for double log demand equations and a complete demand system, the Almost Ideal Demand System. The latter specification can be used to estimate demand relationships that conform to utility maximising behaviour. The elasticity estimates are very robust across the different specifications and estimation methods. This increases confidence in our findings and provides some assurance that choice of functional form or estimation method is not driving our results. We find that retail demands for all berry crops are in the elastic range and that the different berries are substitutes for one another. The demand for strawberries was the least elastic with an own price elasticity of –1.26 and blackberries were the most elastic with a demand elasticity of –1.88. Blackberry demand was also the most responsive to the prices of competing berry crops. The study provides clearer insight into markets for berries in the United States. In addition, it fills a gap in the present lack of up-to-date consumer demand elasticities for these crops and will be useful for growers, decision makers and consumers.

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The role of the time factor in the manager functions
Published December 30, 2009
101-108

The role of the time factor in management is increasing. Change directs attention to the time factor from the point of view of the organisation,and management does the same from that of the person. I examined the time management practice of managers of organisations related to agribusiness, and the reaction time characterising the adaption abil...ity of the organisations through a questionnaire survey. I analysed the collected data with scientifically established statistical methods. During studying resources, managing tasks, change, reaction time and effect I explored the features of time as resource, the significance of the time factor, the improvability of time efficiency in the different managing functions, the factors supporting and hindering the quick reaction of organisations, and what rearrangements can be seen in management work nowadays.

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Feeding the planet and the role of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
Published June 30, 2012
7-13

Keynote speech held at the Second AGRIMBA-AVA Congress 2011 on Dynamics of International Cooperation in Rural Development and Agribusiness, 23-24 June, 2011, atWageningen, the Netherlands.

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