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The new strategic directions of rural development in Hungary
Published November 30, 2012
143-150

The notion of sustainability is the basis for our future possibilities. Local sustainability, in the centre of which can be found the livable settlement, is especially important in rural areas.Without developing rural areas, there is no developing society. The growth of the Earth’s population and the world economy has already surpassed the ca...rrying capacity of this planet which may result in an “overshoot and collapse”. This can still be prevented today. The population of towns and cities is rapidly increasing. Urbanization is a very fast process, even in Hungary. In large cities with millions of inhabitants crime and lumpen lifestyle pose huge problems. However, the bases of a successful economy are morals and a puritan lifestyle, which so far have characterized rural villages. 70% of the poor and needy live in rural areas in the developing countries and agriculture provides livelihood for 40% of the world’s population. The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was established in 2002 by FAO and theWorld Bank to learn more about the role of agricultural science and technology. After the positive decision some comprehensive summaries were made on all the related topics with the participation of 400 scientists. The assessment provided many lessons to learn and at the 2008 closing sessions in Johannesburg, the reports were accepted and it was proved that rural areas have a significant role in providing adequate means of earning a livelihood. The Ministry of Rural Development composed a domestic-level study with the title of the National Rural Strategy. The objectives stated in the study can be seen as the main directions of the Hungarian rural strategy. The land policy aims to support the 50–70 hectare family farms and have the agricultural lands under national authority. The population must be provided with ample and safe food. The priority of local economy, local sale, and local markets is important. The positive exploitation of our natural resources may result in the strengthening of rural areas. The deterioration of rural areas must be stopped. In order to halt these processes swiftly fundamental, patriotic economic and social policy changes, a strong people’s party, a short-run crisis treating and a medium-long-run strategic development and action plan are needed which is based on the respect of work and moral norms, national cooperation, solidarity, and the defense of our mutual interests rather than on speculation (ÁNGYÁN, 2010). The greatest problem of Hungary is low employment.Workplaces may be created in the least expensive and the fastest manner in irrigational agriculture. In order to achieve this, the role of the state must be reconsidered and EU rules on state intervention must be reviewed.

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New sources of employment to promote the wealth-generating capacity of rural communities
Published November 30, 2012
15-21

New Sources of Employment to Promote the Wealth-Generating Capacity of Rural Communities (acronym: RuralJobs) is a collaborative research project partly funded under the European Commission Research and Development 7th Framework Program. The Rural Jobs consortium consists of partners drawn from eight European Union (EU) countries (Bulgaria, Fra...nce, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and UK). The project began on February 2008 and finished in October 2010. RuralJobs quantified labour market, demographic and economic trends, and the impact of employment creation measures and policies in seven, representative “reference areas” across the EU, and used the information to demonstrate how rural development measures can be better targeted and how rural development policies should evolve.We identified labour market, demographic and economic trends in rural areas across EU-27 and the potential for new sources of employment outside traditional primary and secondary sector activities, and examined the interaction between different types of rural area (peri-urban, remote, high environmental/amenity value etc.). We identified employment growth areas where rural development programmes can be targeted to increase their contribution to employment creation. Our strategic objectives were the following: review of employment policies and programmes, scenarios for new sources of employment according to rural typologies, recommendations for better targeting of strategies, dissemination and mainstreaming. The main outcome expected is that the results will allow a better targeting of rural development measures and future evolution of rural development policies in line with the Lisbon Strategy.

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Challenges to sustainable rural development in Russia: social issues and regional divergences
Published March 31, 2016
45-51

Paper aims at investigation of contemporary approaches to sustainable rural development in Russia. It includes the overview of current experiences in rural development, analysis of major economic and social indicators of rural areas in comparison with urban ones. Analysis included the set of indicators such as number of rural people, number of ...rural settlements, rates of births and mortalities, natural and migration increases and declines of population, rates of employment and unemployment, average monthly nominal per capita wages, and level of the subsistence minimum. Indicators have been measured separately for rural and urban areas; regions have been grouped in relation to the particular indicator. The research is concluded by discovery of growth points for rural development and a set of recommendations on perspective measures of state and local policies in rural areas, directed on increase of living standards of rural population and retention of labour resources in their traditional rural areas of inhabitation.

JEL: Q18, P25

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Current situation and development of the bee-keeping sector in Hungary
Published July 30, 2010
71-74

Rural development has become more and more important issue in Hungary since rural areas also contribute to the efficiency of the national economy. Development of rural areas also very important issue in the European Union, which could contribute to the improvement of profitability of small family businesses, higher employment rate in rural area...s as well as slow down the migration of people from rural into urban areas. Nowadays the bee-keeping– as one of the activities can provide alternative income for small businesses in rural areas– has become more and more important topic in Hungary. Bee-keeping sector provides income roughly 15 thousands families in Hungary. At the same time it takes important role in the preservation of rural landscape, traditions and their regional values. However, the sector has serious problems, as well (for instance quality issues, competitors on the market, etc.). It can be stated that the market position of Hungarian honey can be preserved through the improvement of quality assurance and product development. These developments can be carried out by the utilization of national and European Union funds.

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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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The conditions of security in sustainable rural economics
Published August 31, 2014
51-57

This work aims to map the potentials of safe rural economy. This topic cannot be separated from the processes of globalization and localization, affecting each other, whose positive and negative effects have been focussed on, especially in terms of the protection of security and sustainability or their damaging. In Hungary, sustainable rural ec...onomy cannot be achieved only by the rural economy’s systematic stabilization but its present structure and the security system, accompanying the process, also needs to undergo some drastic changes. Sustainable rural economy means a modern economy that aims to keep the rural inhabitants while increases the wealth of the whole society. The legal security of the sustainable local economy is guaranteed by the state in Hungary. The security of the rural areas is provided by the police as an armed force, the auxiliary police, the public place supervision, the local agricultural rangers, the environment wardens, and by the fish- and game-keepers. The Police Act allows cooperation with the further organizations of the society to preserve public order, and to protect property and prevent and detect crimes. The purpose of my thesis is to present security as one of the most important factors to improve the rural areas. I also aim to map the possibilities of improving security (such as cooperation, naming the resources assisting strategic tenders and participation in rural development programs).

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Role of agriculture and multifunctional rural development in Serbia
Published June 30, 2011
47-55

Serbia is mostly rural country, as three fourth of its territory make rural areas, while almost half population is living in rural areas. Serbian agriculture is the sector which is very important for the total economy of the country in respect of resources, participation in GDP, employment as well as importance for rural areas and population. T...his is the only sector in Serbian economy that shows positive foreign trade balance in the recent several years.There are potentials for development of agrarian entrepreneurship on one hand, but on the other, there are constraints in existence of great number of small family farms whereas the huge share could not have commercial profile and could not live only from agricultural activities. The concept of multifunctional development of agriculture and rural areas is still present mostly in scientific and political sphere without clear explanation or interpretation as well as mechanisms of implementation. Serbia’s rural space is heterogenic and devastated in different extent, and therefore extremely complicated for planning of multifunctional development.

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Role of agriculture and multifunctional rural development in Serbia
Published December 31, 2010
153-161

Serbia is mostly rural country, as three fourth of its territory make rural areas, while almost half population is living in rural areas. Serbian agriculture is the sector which is very important for the total economy of the country in respect of resources, participation in GDP, employment as well as importance for rural areas and population. T...his is the only sector in Serbian economy that shows positive foreign trade balance in the recent several years.There are potentials for development of agrarian entrepreneurship on one hand, but on the other, there are constraints in existence of great number of small family farms whereas the huge share could not have commercial profile and could not live only from agricultural activities. The concept of multifunctional development of agriculture and rural areas is still present mostly inscientific and political sphere without clear explanation or interpretation as well as mechanisms of implementation. Serbia’s rural space is heterogenic and devastated in different extent, and therefore extremely complicated for planning of multifunctional development.

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Potential for Hungarian Grasslands in integrated rural development
Published December 30, 2009
37-39

Sustainability and multifunctionality, two key principles, which will determine future development in any activities. On the bases of these principles, society as a whole has already outlined future expectations towards rural areas. Rural functions (economic, ecological and socio-cultural ones) have been declared in European Charter for RuralAr...eas. To what extend can different rural development initiatives meet these functions? The question may be answered by using the method of multifunctional rural resource analysis (NAGY, 2007). The paper is investigating the potential for Hungarian grasslands by using this methodology. It is concluded that our grasslands, as land use systems in their present conditions can participate in integrated rural development in the most balanced way compared to other land use systems in the county. Economically their potential is good. Ecologically their potential is outstanding. The socio-cultural potential of grassland use in Hungary is also outstanding due to the historical roots.As a future prediction the relative importance of the three grassland functions has been outlined in integrated agriculture and rural development.

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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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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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Cultural and social accomplishments of agricultural companies as contributions to the development of rural areas
Published September 30, 2009
21-23

Agricultural companies play a key role in enriching the cultural and social life of the rural areas in which they function. Therefore, these companies serve towards preserving a quality of life necessary for rural communities to survive and to develop rural areas. However, the financial, human resource and material expenditures necessary to sus...tain rural communities are difficult to quantify. These studies, on the basis of internationally focused case studies, attempt to measure, systemize and evaluate the charitable engagement of farmers.

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New rural economy: Challenges and diversity in Eastern Croatia
Published December 30, 2009
51-54

Eastern part of Croatia is agricultural region according to natural resource (fertile soil, first of all), as well as human potential (long experience in traditional agriculture). Besides agriculture as traditional activity, a characteristic of rurality is also added to this region. Rural area is dominant in Eastern Croatia and it effects on re...latively small urban areas. This paper represents new possibilities of rural economic activities on family farms in Eastern Croatia. Role and significant of rural economic activities is analyzed through indicators overview (land structure, GDP, population, population density, TEA index, unemployment ect.). Challenges through diversification of rural economic activities in this paper includes added economic activities realized on family farms through tourism, crafts, handy work, processing, renewable energyetc. Added economic activities on family farms in Eastern Croatia participate with only 3.9%. Suggestions and possibilities measures of rural economic activities diversification are reflected through two main streams. First stream is diversification of activities through added value of agricultural products as vertical connection (organic food, autochthony products, functional food, renewable energy sources etc.). Other one economic activity diversification indicates distribution function of final products through different services on the family farm (direct sale, specialized shops, rural tourism and many other services).

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Human resource aspect of agricultural economy – challenges of demographic change
Published December 31, 2017
163-167

Over the past decades, the agrarian policy has tried to contribute to the catching-up of the rural areas with varying dynamism and aid scheme. However, its result is significantly below expectations. Nowadays, the age composition of the population living in rural areas reveals an unfavourable picture; the rate of the elderly, deprived persons a...nd people being inactive from the aspect of employment is high and it is also combined with the low educational levels. The young generations and intellectuals leave the rural areas and, consequently, the rate of the active population continues to grow narrow as well as the proportion of young and skilled employees decreases. As a consequence of changes in the past decades, the rate of agricultural employment has not led to an intensive change but a failing change in extensive direction which lays off jobs. Nowadays, this process also determines the Hungarian rural society. In the sector, the need for employment diminishes as a result of the development in technology and due to the expansion of services sector. The purpose of our study is to present and analyse the human resources of our country’s agriculture by skill level and age group and compare it with the needs of companies, by doing this we try to compare supply and demand. In details, based on secondary data source, we investigate the agricultural labour force and try to confront it with the advertisements of job search portals (three of our job search portals based on our predefined criteria), by which we achieve a current picture of the agricultural human resource circumstances.

JEL Code: J43

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Agricultural policy and rural development
Published July 30, 2010
105-112

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.

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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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Educational projects – support for development of tourism and rural areas in Serbia
Published July 30, 2010
65-69

The paper presents three mini-projects that have been implemented by The Institute of Agricultural Economics – Belgrade in the 2006–2008 period. Those were special educational projects in agriculture and rural development, whereas extension activities were concentrated onto three topics: farm management, support of rural development and imp...rovement of small farms. Implementation of projects took place on the territory of the South Banat County and some Belgrade city communes. The projects intended to solve current problems of sustainable agriculture and rural development. Within the projects there were identified priorities related to investments, strategic planning and tourism. Educational activities were aimed at a number of holders or members of their registered farms. Dynamics of the projects' implementation included introduction and discussion with a number of farmers, formation of small groups, preparation and making of materials, a series of theoretical lectures and determination of the joint work results. Education programs are aiming at improvement of the farm holders' knowledge in the field of business and management. Specific objectives of training are to increase sales of goods and services at domestic and foreign market, to increase competitiveness in a particular market, to achieve higher profits, to create new jobs and improve living conditions in rural areas. Evaluation of projects was related to determination of level, to which there were achieved set objectives, then to define implementation of projects in accordance with the plan, as well as to determine an impact of educational activities to promotion of knowledge concerning business and management.

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Selection of agricultural land for multifunctional agriculture
Published July 30, 2010
49-52

The modern concept of rural development implies the use of agricultural resources, primarily agricultural land, for other (non-agricultural) activities besides its agricultural purpose. The integral aim of this concept of rural development is the maximization of economic results, besides the sustainable development of rural areas, environmental... protection and the production of strategic (staple) agricultural products. The objective of this paper is to define the general, theoretical, quantitative model for the determination of the size and quality of agricultural land which, considering the above-mentioned demands (criteria), is optimal for the utilization in agricultural production in certain regions. The remaining agricultural land would be available for the non-agricultural purposes. The economic optimal model for the selection of agricultural land in the traditional agriculture is the model of linear programming. The criteria of the land selection for traditional agriculture are the economic effectiveness (measured by net income or by gross national product) and the economic efficiency (measured by the production economy). The maximum economic effectiveness is determined by the standard method of linear programming and the maximum economy by the method of broken linear programming. The solution of compromise can be determined by multi-criteria programming, based on the minimum differences. The limitation groups in the mentioned variations of the model are: limitations of production quotas of agricultural products, minimum quantities of staple agricultural products, limitations of processing plants in a region (minimum and maximum), limitation of crop rotation, limitations of the needs in animal husbandry for bulky for age and limitations of agricultural land according to various types of utilization. By quantitative defining of the structure and size of agricultural land for traditional agriculture, “the surplus” and structure of agricultural land available for non-agricultural purposes is automatically determined.

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Impact of CAP’s pillars on Romanian rural employment
Published December 30, 2009
75-80

This paper aims to clarify the direction of change in rural employment on short- and medium term in Romania, while CAP regulations are being introduced and the global economic crisis emerges. First we put into evidence the decrease of the role of agriculture as buffer for unemployment and the poor contribution of non-agricultural activities to ...provide employment for rural residents.Then we analyse the main characteristics of the rural labour force. Finally we synthesize the opinions expressed by 33 consultants (working at the Offices for Agricultural Consultancy from different counties in Transylvania) about the estimated short term evolution of rural employment and the impact of CAP on Romanian rural areas.

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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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Opportunities for the inclusion of less-favoured areas in the Northern Great Plain region
Published December 31, 2007
59-60

Agricultural economics and its part, rural economics plays a determining role in Hungary. Most rural families perform self-sufficient farm production for a living. In the present conditions of infrastructure and human resources, there are regions where the only rural alternative for employment is agriculture. There are significant differences a...mong the regions considering natural resources and equipment available for farm production, and these differences affect potential income (Vöröset al. 1999). The primary aim of the European Union is to reduce such differences among the regions.The new research program of the University of Debrecen tackles the fundamental questions of regional development through the research and management of social asymmetries by using economic and other relevant tools. This program also provides suggestions for facilitating the development of less-favoured areas.

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Sustainable initiatives in marginal rural areas of Serbia: A case study of dimitrovgrad municipality
Published December 31, 2010
7-13

This paper is based on a 2009 case study research on the role and impacts of rural initiatives in Dimitrovgrad, South-eastern Serbia region. This area is of interest, because of local efforts to conserve autochthonous livestock breeds, and the work of small holders and independent professionals involved farming and rural tourism activities. The... research used participant visits to initiative places, drawing on farm visits, meetings with stakeholders and analysis of secondary information. The study highlights that local organizations are running without link to initiatives.Although, Serbia country has well structured rural developments programs, those still are harmonising.Thus, throughActor-Network approach is suggested which turn around a farm manager. This may represent to all stakeholders within itiatives (on-farm and non-farm). Besides, local food products issues from initiatives may reconnect providers and consumers, revaluing local food products. However, is necessary the institutional and organizational involvement to encourage the initiatives. Furthermore, to promote touristic places, by an integrated rural tourism approach it may involve all stakeholders to promote local products and issues from initiatives. Indirectly it may create local employs.

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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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Sheep production in Hungary – is it a sustainable sector?
Published December 30, 2009
95-100

The question of sustainability of agricultural production especially animal production and events leading to its development can be dated back to the second part of the last century. Sustainability is a priority subject matter as it is a core element in our existence and in the survival of the forthcoming generations. The notion of sustainabili...ty comprises three aspects: ecological, social and political and economic target systems, which by now have been supplemented with cultural and regional elements including the protection of environment, local traditions, scale of values, cultural and historical heritage. The principles of sustainable development also include the improvement of human and animal health and the maintenance of vital rural communities. The priority notion of sustainability of agricultural production refers also to animal husbandry and especially sheep production. Sheep have contributed substantially to the grassland-based agricultural production in Hungary for centuries. Sheep sector is important in rural areas as the tool of sustainability of animal production. It should also be highlighted that contrary to numerous efforts, the globally difficult process of sustainable development poses almost unsolvable problems for implementers even on local and regional levels. This paper will review briefly the levels of sustainability in the Hungarian animal production with a special regard to sheep production and their content and then points out the most significant economic issues by the application of “SWOT” – analysis, “problem tree’and “structure of objectives” methods, on the grounds of the received findings.

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Sustainable initiatives in marginal rural areas of Serbia: A case study of Dimitrovgrad municipality
Published June 30, 2011
7-13

his paper is based on a 2009 case study research on the role and impacts of rural initiatives in Dimitrovgrad, South-eastern Serbia region. This area is of interest, because of local efforts to conserve autochthonous livestock breeds,andtheworkofsmallholdersandindependent professionals involved farming and rural tourism activities. The research... used participant visits to initiative places, drawing on farm visits, meetings with stakeholders and analysis of secondary information. The study highlights that local organizations are running without link to initiatives.Although, Serbia country has well structured rural developments programs, those still are harmonising.Thus, throughActor-Network approach is suggested which turn around a farm manager. This may represent to all stakeholders with initiatives (on-farm and non-farm). Besides, local food products issues from initiatives may reconnect providers and consumers, revaluing local food products. However, is necessary the institutional and organizational involvement to encourage the initiatives. Furthermore, to promote touristic places, by an integrated rural tourism approach it may involve all stakeholders to promote local products and issues from initiatives. Indirectly it may create local employs.

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