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Hungarian dairy and beef production sector technical efficiency comparsion using DEA
Published December 31, 2017

To examine and compare the technical efficiency of dairy sector and the beef sector, this research introduced the main indicators of milk and beef production in the world, EU and Hungarian aggregates. Based on the data it can be said that the milk and beef production of Hungary does not occupy any significant position in the world as well as in... the European Union neither today nor even in the past. If Hungry must compete in the European counties and international market, their dairy sector must focus to increase of their production efficiency as the key breakthrough point. This paper we compared technical efficiency of both dairy and beef sectors in total, for the year 2014 and 2015 separately and based on the farm size. The specific objectives of the research are: comparing dairy and beef farms efficiency in Hungary. Based on the results, we can determine which sector in Hungary is more effective. The second objective is to compare the efficiencies of both the sectors in 2014 and 2015 separately and from the results we can determine which year was more effective in terms of production efficiency and the third objective of the research is technical efficiency comparison of certain economic sizes for both sectors. In the research, we used (KOVACS, 2009) deterministic (DEA) model adapted to the Hungarian dairy farms and beef farms. For the dairy farms milk and dairy products as well as meat (other income). The input factors originated from the domestic AKI - FADN database. Summarizing the results of the research it can be conclude that the dairy sector is more effective than the beef sector in Hungary. In terms of years compared 2014 was more effective for both sector as compared with 2015. In regards to the farm size almost the same result in evaluating the scale of efficiency, which means that large economies can in most cases, manage resources more efficiently than small farms. In the examined years, based on the results of the DEA model, the VRS technical efficiency of the test for these two years was 72.90% for the dairy farms and 63.60% for the beef farms, which means that the dairy sector is more efficient than the beef sector in Hungary. The VRS technical efficiency of the research was 82.10% in 2014 and 75.10% in 2015 for the dairy farms and 77.50% in 2014 and 68.90% in 2015 for the beef farms, which means that both the dairy sector and the beef sectors followed the same trend and were more efficient in 2014 compared to the efficiency in 2015. The large size dairy farms were most effective in Hungary in the examined period (90.90%). VRS technical efficiency for small farms is 88% and the total number of small, the technical efficiency medium farms was 72.80% For the beef sector VRS technical efficiency for small farms is 71.30% and the technical efficiency medium farms was 74.40% and 70% of the beef meat producing farms in Hungary are medium sized. So, the conclusion is the small size dairy farms have a higher VRS efficiency than the small size beef farms whereas medium sized beef farms had higher VRS efficiency than the medium size dairy farms. As a conclusion, both dairy and beef sectors in Hungary have the potential to overcome technology and knowledge constraints and attain the upmost attainable productivity level through improvements in; farmer volume of production i.e. output, beef cattle technologies, and advertising, and the efficiency of the technology transfer process.

JEL Code: Q13

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Urban Food Crop Farming and Farm Households’ Food Security Status in Oyo State, Nigeria
Published May 2, 2018

Food production and supply has been on the decline in Nigeria with a consequent impact on household food security. This study examined the influence of urban farming on household food security in Oyo State, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 159 farm households in a cross-sectional survey. Structured questionnaire was us...ed to obtain data on socio-economic characteristics, determine the food security status of urban crop farming households in the study area, and examine the effects of urban crop production on households’ food security status. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics while the statistical tools were Food Security Index (FSI) and Probit Regression Model (PRM). Results revealed that 84.9% of the respondents was male, 81.2% married. The average age, household size, and farm size were 49.6 years, 6 persons, 1.1 hectares respectively. Most (75.5%) of the respondents did not have access to consumption credit and 62.3% did not belong to any farmers association. Based on minimum daily energy requirement per adult equivalent of N230.8, 90.6% of the farm households was food secure.

The PRM showed that age (β = -0.1, p<0.05), household size (β= -0.4, p<0.01) and economic efficiency (β = -61.6, p<0.05) reduced the probability of household food security while access to consumption credit (β= 1.7, p<0.05) and allocative efficiency (β = 67.9, p<0.05) increased the probability of household food security. The study concluded that urban farming significantly influence household food security.

JEL Classification: Q11

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Less favoured area measure in the Netherlands: a welcome or negligible addition?
Published May 30, 2009

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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Economic aspects of an agricultural innovation – precision crop production
Published June 30, 2012

Innovation in agriculture ensures the wide-spread use of the latest, up-to-date technology. Such new technology is precision farming in crop production, which serves as a validation of the criteria of environmental and economic sustainability. The economic applicability of precision crop production depends on several factors.Among them the foll...owing aspects must be emphasized: the size of the farm, the characteristics of the production structure, the current input-output prices and their tendencies, the investment needed for transitioning to precision technology and its capital source, the level of professional knowledge and the managerial attitudes of the farm. I have examined the economic relations between potential savings in chemicals on EU level. It has been found that after switching to precision farming, the active ingredient use for fertilizers can be reduced by 340 thousand tons at the same expected yield level in an optimistic scenario in the EU-27, while the savings in pesticide use can be 30 thousand tons (calculating with the current dose-level). If approximately 30% of the crop producing and mixed farms over 16 ESU adopt this new technology, this will diminish environmental loads by up to 10-35%. The majority of farms characterized by greater output and size can be based on their own equipment but it might as well be presumed that smaller farms can turn to precision farming not based on their own investment. They can buy the technical service from providers, they can establish producer cooperation, for example in the frame of machinery rings. At a certain farm size and farming intensity precision crop production is a real, environmentally friendly farming strategy, with the help of which the farm can reach earnings that cover at least the economic conditions of simple reproduction.

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The choice between conventional and organic farming. A Hungarian example
Published December 30, 2009

The paper deals with organic produce in one of the largest and, concerning organic production one of the most diffused counties in Hungary, Pest County located in the north-central part of the country. Factors influencing farmers’decision on adopting or not e.g. farm size, farm type, location, structure, market for organic products, existence... of organic AEM were analysed. Hypotheses based on previous empirical literature were tested by a model explicitly accounting for the effects of farm-specific variables like age, education, size of farms and share of rented land. Logit model was estimated on a cross-section data set of Hungarian farmers for the period 2007. It appears that education has a positive impact on the choice between conventional and organic farming, and, the size of the farm in hectares has a negative effect on this choice.Age and some general considerations on environmental friendly technologies do not have a significant effect on choice between conventional and organic farming.

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Subsidies are Potential Sources of Profitable Management – Their Payment Between 2010 and 2016
Published May 2, 2018

Based on the allocations and distributions of subsidies in the sheep sector in the previous years (2004-2009), the authors examined the sum of aids claimed and paid from 2010 to 2016 and their farm-size related changes. The following data were collected from the Agricultural and Rural Development Institute on payments under specific subsidy tit...les, classified by sheep and goat farm sizes: 0-50; 51-100, 101-200, 201-300 and also 0-100, 101-300, 301-500, 501-1000, 1001-5000 and above 5000. Data procession was carried out by the SPSS for Windows 22 program. The size and population of the examined sheep sector underwent visible changes during the studied years leading to a reduction rather than growth. Their analysis highlights that size distribution of sheep farms has changed significantly in recent years, combined with simultaneous modifications of their sheep stock sizes in production. Their conclusions suggest that effects of years and farm sizes in the sheep and goat sector have considerably modified the aid sums paid under different titles.

JEL Classification: H5, Q14

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The influence of direct support under common agricultural policy on farm incomes in Poland
Published September 30, 2013

The main objective of the paper is the analysis of changes on the level of income of agricultural producers, which took place in Poland in the early years of the accession to the EU, as well as a determination of the scale of the impact of financial support under the Common Agricultural Policy on the farm income situation. Poland’s membership... in the EU gives rural farms opportunities to improve their economic situation. Financial aid, mainly in the form of a direct payment, has been the main factor determining the economical status of rural farms, whilst the other income making factors, such as improved productivity and increased agricultural production have played a much smaller role. The increase in revenue has enabled farmers not only to increase current expenditures, but also to carry out modernization efforts, which will determine the future economic and structural situation of the Polish agricultural sector and its competitiveness. However, a strong differentiation in terms of the economic situation of rural farms according to their size and specialization in production was also noticed. As a result, there is a still large number of farms in which the revenues received by farmers are insufficient to assure them adequate life standard. Therefore such farms are not able to both develop and invest. Only economically strong rural farms with high production potential have such opportunities, meaning that EU support will never be able to fully minimize the effects of small-scale production or to offset the insufficient efficiency and productivity of production factors.

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The impact of the “greening” of the common agricultural policy on the financial situation of Polish farms
Published September 30, 2013

This paper presents an assessment of the impacts of introducing the greening scenario of the CAP, proposed by the European Commission as an alternative for the reformed CAP after 2013. In the past, the CAP has undergone numerous transformations in response to the changing macroeconomic environment and in reaction to developments in the farming ...sectors in EU countries. On the 12th of October 2011, the Commission presented a set of legal proposals designed to make the CAP a more effective policy to encourage more competitive and sustainable agriculture and vibrant rural areas. The proposal brings various new elements under consideration, some of them raising strong controversies such as introducing “greening” as a component of direct payments. Changes in the direct payments scheme in line with the EC proposition include forcing adjustments in the cropping pattern and creating ecological focus areas (EFA) on 7% of the farm land ; the consequences of such a proposal on the size and structure of agricultural production, and thus on the economic performance of farms and the whole agricultural sector are uncertain. The authors analyse historical changes to the CAP with a focus on a growing importance of the environmental component of the CAP, discuss different scenarios of shaping the direct payments system and present the results of modelling the impacts of greening the CAP on the Polish farming sector with the use of the LP optimisation model. The study was based on Polish FADN data. Results show that the majority of farmers in Poland comply with the crop diversification constraint of greening. However, establishing the required EFAs and necessary diversification on farms with simplified cropping structures will have a negative impact on the volume of agricultural production as well as on farm incomes.

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Off-farm participation and technical efficiency among smallholder farmers in the Northern Region, Ghana
Published June 30, 2017

The study aimed at investigating the effects of off-farm participation on technical efficiency of maize production in the Tolon district of the Northern Region, Ghana. The Logit regression model was used to analyze the determinants of off-farm participation while the stochastic frontier production function was used to model the determinants of ...maize output and technical efficiency. The empirical results from the logistic regression model indicate that age of farmer, educational attainment, farming experience, farm size, and previous farm income are significant drivers of farmers’ participation in off-farm activities. Farmers’ average technical efficiency level was 90.7% suggesting a 9.3% potential loss to inefficiency. Moreover, participation in off-farm activities had a negative influence on farmers’ technical efficiency level. The study, therefore, recommends that farm-level policy should be directed towards making the agricultural sector attractive by promoting investment and agricultural employment opportunities in the rural areas so as to ensure full commitment to farming activities.

JEL code: Q22

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Competitiveness of Polish regional Agro-clusters
Published October 31, 2008

The present paper concerns the analysis and evaluation of the performance of regional agro-clusters in Poland and also the examination of the significant basic factors which have influence on it. The objective of the paper is both to rank the 16 Polish regions according to their competitive position in the agrocomplex and to present their econo...mic and social position, show differences and regional contrasts. Also, we compare the outcomes with the overall Polish regional competitive index, which was created in accordance with the Huggins Institute approach.

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Agricultural outsourcing: A comparison between the Netherlands and Japan
Published October 31, 2008

Outsourcing may well be a tool for increasing the efficiency of Japanese agriculture. However, outsourcing is not frequently used by Japanese farmers in their day-to-day management. This has resulted in a weakly developed market for agricultural contracting services. In order to take a closer look at the reasons for making use of outsourcing, a... comparative study was carried out between the agricultural contracting sector in Japan and that in the Netherlands, where agricultural outsourcing is a regular practice. In the Netherlands, especially small, diversified farms that lack sufficient labour tend to outsource agricultural work; in Japan, the situation is far less clear. Cultural factors possibly play an important role.

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Analysis of the producer price of Hungarian raw milk in international comparison
Published December 31, 2012

Although the dairy market crisis eased in 2011, Hungarian dairy farmers still find it difficult to produce milk profitably. As a result of the crisis, many dairy farmers abandoned milk production or reduced the size of their dairy herds in 2009 and 2010. Today, many of farmers are also considering ceasing production, in spite of the fact that t...he global dairy industry is facing an upturn. A dairy farm can operate profitablyy in three ways: 1) if it can reach a relatively high level of producer price 2) if it can increase milk production per cow 3) if it can achieve a relatively low cost of production. In the present study, I primarily analyse the development of the Hungarian producer price of raw milk in international comparison. Next, I list those factors which directly or indirectly influence the producer price of raw milk. Finally, I examine the relationship among disposable income, milk consumption and milk price. Since the start of 2009, the dairy market has been confronted with a period of extraordinary law prices. After bottoming out, prices had begun to slowly stabilise during the second half of 2009. By the end of that summer, international prices had started to strengthen and the last quarter of 2009 was characterized by a steady rise in prices. The strong recovery in prices experienced after 2009 was triggered by increased demand, mainly from oil exporting countries, but also from China.
The price increase, however, reflected a significant increase in input costs in Hungary; the high level of feed prices and the unfavourable change in the macroeconomic environment must be stressed. The rising excise duty on diesel fuel and the VAT increase had a direct impact on Hungarian dairy farmers. These negative factors have increased the costs of the sector, narrowing the ability of those active in it to operate efficiently.

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