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Renewable energy resources in Hungary – solid biomass utilization in terms of necessity and opportunity
Published October 30, 2010
75-78

In the 21st century a country’s success significantly depends on how it can solve the problems (supply safety, growing prices, climate change, etc.) induced by the application structure of the fossil energy sources with the means of energy saving, energy efficiency and the utilization of renewable energy resources. The utilization of renewabl...e energy sources has positive effects on five key areas: environment protection, energy policies, fulfilment of EU expectations, agriculture and rural development and on the whole of the national economy. The bioenergy – beside fulfilling the national economic aims – it is putting up the value of the role of agriculture and rural development. The role of agriculture is multi-functional in the process. The agricultural sector has an important task in the area of bioenergy to ensure the proper quality and quantity of raw materials for the increase of bioenergy utilization. This also means new sales perspectives and opportunities for the producers. Above all this, the agricultural policy aims for the agriculture and the rural development segment to be the unambiguous winner of the new bioenergy sector and for most of the available profit to stay with the agricultural sector, with the rural players. For this reason encouraging the raw material production it wishes to encourage the producer their primary process and their local utilization. One of the fundamental objectives of the measures is that agriculture should go beyond the raw material production and take steps towards processing and utilization. The multifunctional role in the product chain might mean extra income and more added value for the producers and the active players in the process. The other objective is to promote the local utilization, the scatter of the environmentally friendly energy sources in rural areas, to change the energy is “lying on the ground unutilized” principle while local processing and promoting the utilization, to achieve a lower energy dependency and to optimize and disseminate cost efficient solutions. To realize all this means a great task and a huge challenge for the agricultural government as well as the rural societies and micro regions but might lead to a successful rural development. The range of the tools and measures to fulfil the aims might be very broad, from the regulating instruments to the various subsidies, coordination and dissemination tools. Part of the subsidy schemes are direct production-type of subsidies (the so called direct payments, for example the area based subsidies) and the other main forms are the investment-type subsidies which are for technology development, promotion of competitive production and local processing and for establishing a green energy industry. In the period of 2007-2013 the key elements of the development schemes were drafted in the frame of the New Hungary Rural Development Programme (ÚMVP) and the Environmental Energy Operational Program (KEOP). The available raw materials and the conditions are taken into consideration while designing the development schemes because a successful realization of a product chain means the assurance of the inputs and outputs. The starting point of determining the development direction is the principle of an operation which is sustainable and economical on the long run. In addition such developments are considered reasonable which are viable on medium and long term and bring numerous rural development, environmental and societal returns.

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Opportunities and obstacles of areabased partnerships in rural Hungary – main features of the operations of leader local action groups based on a nationwide survey
Published December 31, 2011
109-117

Based on the results of our questionnaire survey, our study presents the major operational features of LEADER LAGs established in Hungary in the second half of 2007. Our national survey indicated that most of the partnerships established do not have experience in the implementation of community-based rural development programmes and there are n...o traditions and practices for development cooperation, which may cause problems as the success of programme implementation highly depends on the preparedness of local society, on the cooperation of local people. The survey indicates that the development of areas covered by LAGs is hindered by so-called soft factors characterizing human resources (rural people and communities). Therefore human resources are not only factors of the rural economy but areas for development as well. Having examined the tasks of LAGs,it can be established that they deem it to be their principal task to grant support funds.Inouropinion, performance of this task is obviously necessary but far from sufficient to fulfil their catalyst role expected in local developments. For this purpose, it is essential for action groups to play a proactive role in organizing and thereby increase the capacity of local communities, a prerequisite for implementing a LEADER programme. In accordance with the basic principle of subsidiarity, rural development should be implemented locally, managed by local communities, and decisions should be made at local levels in a decentralized manner. At the same time, the survey points out that LAGs operate under strong government influence and control, leading to the conclusion that the Hungarian practice of the LEADER programme is characterized by decentralization without subsidiarity. In the present structure, the activities of LAGs are predominantly financed from central resources.Administration is the primary goal of their financing, which restricts their effective and efficient operations, thereby the successful implementation of the LEADER programme. It is unquestionable that LAGs need to be centrally financed since their operation is fundamental for programme implementation, but this requires more than acting in their present role of distributing resources. In order for action groups to fulfil their real roles to boost local developments, they need to recognize their mission; and from the financing and regulatory side, they must be enabled to complete the tasks expected from them and their function.

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Agri-environmental management and rural development: Hungary after EU accession
Published December 31, 2007
35-40

In Hungary, similarly to developed countries, the share of agriculture in the GDP has declined. Even so, preparation of the sector’s long term strategy is crucial, as the role of agriculture exceeds the results represented in the GDP. Environmental and social functions of agriculture are revaluated in developed countries, and consumers at the... end of the food chain actually govern the entire process. This is why information plays an increasingly important role, and gives signals (Verbeke, 2005) to the actors in the economy and society. This research area is diverse (including agricultural policy, environmental policy, rural development and sustainable development), and so I applied an interdisciplinary approach and conducted an integrated examination. The results show that in recent decades, the pressure of agriculture on the environment has been lower in Hungary than in the EU-15 and agri-environmental measures have taken hold in all types of land-use systems, even though they are more important in protected areas. Although this development provides a good basis for a long term strategy social capital has lost strength (Csath, 2002), so fostering the creation of internal and external rural networks – one instrument for this could be the Leader programme – is essential for sustainable rural development.

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67
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Adaptations to potential impacts of climate change in the “New Hungary” Rural Development Programme
Published December 30, 2009
133-137

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.

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Impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on the agro-food industry and rural livelihoods in Serbia
Published June 30, 2012
113-118

Sixty-five per cent of the Serbian land area is agricultural and 55% of the population is rural.Agriculture share of GDP is more than 10% and about 47% of the rural labour force deals with agriculture. The aim of this work is to analyse the impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on the Serbian agro-food sector and rural communities.... Measures introduced, mainly by public institutions, for relieving the consequences of the crisis are presented and discussed. Easily accessible yet high quality data from the central Office of Statistics in Serbia and specialized literature have been used. Impacts have been assessed by analyzing and discussing the trends of many socio-economic indicators. The crisis has had general impacts on the Serbian economy (low GDP growth, unemployment increase, price volatility, purchasing power decrease, etc.). Due to the crisis growth in agricultural production has been very low (0.1% in 2009). Agro-food exports decreased dramatically in 2008. About 9000 agricultural jobs were lost in 2008 and 2009. Reduced exports and lower domestic demand impacted negatively on agricultural commodity prices and agricultural household incomes.Access to credit became more difficult especially for small producers. However, agriculture is still a very important safety net. Agricultural employment share has increased both for men and women. The importance of agriculture is even higher if we consider the “grey agricultural economy”. To mitigate the crisis effects, the Government provided subsidies to rural people and will adopt the National Strategic Plan and Programme for Rural Development. Nevertheless, public institutions - in partnership with private, civil society and international organisations - should improve rural producers’ access to market information and credits and foster investments in rural areas including non-agricultural ones and those aiming at improving physical capital.

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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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Mitigation activities to reduce emission of agricultural greenhouse gases in Hungary
Published September 30, 2009
115-119

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.

 

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Consumption habits of “Free range chicken” in Hungary
Published December 30, 2009
69-73

Poultry is highly ranked in theWorld meat production and consumption (it accounted for 32% in 2007), and, in the past 20 years it was growing with an annual rate of 3–6%, higher than in case of any other meat-types. This tendency is also valid for Hungary: poultry has the largest share (29.8 kg/person/year, 47%) in the domestic meat consumpti...on since 2000, which is among the EU top (KSH, 2007). As the result of the animal health and nutrition scandals, the EU animal welfare and quality requirements and the advancements in health consciousness the Master-Good group launched the production, processing and trade of free-range poultry under the brand “Free-range chicken”. The new products had good consumer responses, because at present 1.5% of the processed chicken in Hungary (25 tons/week) is under this brand. As it regards the future of this product, we can expect the decrease of the current 1.5 times higher production price over broiler chicken, due to the increasing energy, labour and other cost items, thus the increase of the domestic consumption by 25–30% per annum can be foreseen. Besides the growth in domestic demand, increasing foreign consumer demand can also be expected because of the space requirement of the production. Summarising the above mentioned: „Free range chicken” can be one of the most successful products of the Hungarian poultry industry. In order to realise the prognosis mentioned above, it is inevitable to learn the consumer attitudes towards the brand. A primary market research programme supported by the Master Good group has been launched to study the main features of the domestic chicken meat consumption – including the „Free-range chicken” as highlighted brand. The primary aim of the research was the complete assessment and evaluation of the Hungarian chicken consumption habits and the identification of the possible take-off points. The research undertaken resulted basic information concerning the internal structure of the Hungarian poultry consumption (including that of the „Free-range chicken”), the potential consumer groups and their requirements, provided information on the consumers’knowledge of the products and identified the elements of the consumers’ judgements. This will serve as basis for a marketing communication programme to increase the domestic „Free-range chicken” consumption.

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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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Investigation of the effect of flooring on the living performance of sows using survival analysis
Published December 31, 2012
99-102

Pig-farming has a long tradition in Hungary, most significantly within the Alföld region. In my analysis I studied the lifespan of sows in two nucleus pig herds on the Great Plain, also examining the probability of the occurrence of different reasons for culling. During my research I collected data (from 2001 to 2010) relating to more than 10,...000 sows from the farms conducting a breeding programme and I searched for the answer to the question of whether can I find a significant difference in the lifespan of sows with the same feeding and the same genotype if the floor type of farms is different (Herd A has a solid floor with straw and Herd B has a slatted floor). Regarding the reasons for culling ANOVA was used to investigate mean differences in logarithms of the lifespan of sows in each herd. Between the herds the seven most common culling reasons were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and the significant difference was demonstrated with the logrank test. The results of the log-rank test showed that there was a significant difference in leg problems as a cause of culling and deaths (p < 0.05) between the two farms, which is the consequence of different floor types.

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