Volume 114 - Issue 1

Directive 2009/28/EC established a common framework for the use, production and promotion of energy from renewable sources. Subsequently, each European Union Member State was required to prepare a national Renewable Energy Action Plan (REAP) which specifies the share of energy from renewable sources to be consumed in transport, as well as in the production of electricity and heating, in 2020. The Hungarian REAP was published in December 2010. In order to identify what further steps are required to meet the targets set by the REAP, in this article we review the current situation and the potential in Hungary for the production and use of biomass, biogas and biofuel. We conclude that the annual quantity of required biomass is already available and it should be possible to meet the demand for solid biomass for direct combustion without the need for significant areas dedicated to energy crops. The establishment of biogas power plants is determined both by electricity generation and by waste management considerations. Targeted financial support and new regulations are required to promote the injection of upgraded biogas into the natural gas grid. Hungary has great potential to produce first generation biofuels, particularly ethanol, not only for domestic needs but also...

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The aim of this research was to determine the effects of different factors of production (farm management strategy, veterinary management, physical farm conditions, and breeding technology) on the performance of Hungarian pig breeding farms. Performance is defined in a broad sense, reflecting the complexity of pig breeding, taking into consideration technological and economic indices. According to our hypothesis a direct, quantifiable stochastic relation can be shown between management strategy, veterinary practice management, construction and building engineering characteristics of plants, breeding technology and the performance of farms. The data for the analysis were acquired by a direct question survey of more than 130 Hungarian pig breeding farms. Utilising these data, different indices were created for each farm with the purpose of information compression. Based on these indicators, a series of linear regression equations was set up to describe the relationship between independent (exogenous) variables, such as management strategy, intervening causal variables (such as the piglet rearing technology and veterinary practice management) and the performance, as the dependent variable. This simultaneous equation model was tested using Mplus® software. The results serve as quantitative, statistical evidence for the effect of management practice in general, and veterinary management in particular, on the performance of...

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Agencies throughout the world are implementing plans to preserve open spaces. The demand to preserve open space is often justified based on the value of the amenities associated with the land. However, many times open space is valued most for what it is not: the absence of negative externalities associated with development of the open space. Florida has the most ambitious programme for acquiring conservation land of any state or nation in the world. Using evidence from Florida, this study determines whether being added to a conservation land acquisition list affects nearby property values. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection claims that being on the list should not trigger any changes in property values. The results of the hedonic regression models contradict this claim and provide evidence that being added to the conservation acquisition list (perceived as permanently undevelopable and publicly owned at some point in the future) does cause a positive increase in nearby property values for at least some of the open space projects analysed in this study.

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The decrease in the area of arable land has further continued in the European Union (EU) since the Millennium. Sustainable development is partially based on the sustainable use of natural resources, which is based on the limitation of land use and on the introduction of different incentives. Previous direct subsidies resulted in increased production. The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has aimed to stop the increase in production, possibly even to decrease production. The objective of this research is to show whether such an effect on land use and on the change of production structure in the EU can be observed. Analyses have shown that agricultural and arable areas have further decreased within land use since the Millennium, continuing the previously characteristic trend in the EU. The proportion and the yield of cereals in the production structure have increased. We conclude that in this respect the effects of the CAP on agriculture are the opposite to its original aims.

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This study shows the impact of cropping intensity on the economic results of plant production in Poland. The real amount of production outlays, which in value terms represents the level of direct costs, was adopted as the intensity measure. The economic results diversification scale is reflected by the level of gross margin and income from management activity, as well as by the production profitability index in the activity types analysed. When using low-intensity, as compared to high-intensity, cropping technologies, the economic results of the activities in question become more favourable. The profitability analysis of various production factors points to a prevalence of agricultural farms with low intensity levels of the activity conducted. Lower outlays of production means contributed to a more effective utilisation of both the natural soil fertility, and labour combined with fixed assets. A lower use of chemical crop-enhancing agents forces the farmer to employ more environmentally-friendly methods to keep production at a profitable level. The results show that the use of modern technological achievements may contribute to reducing the unfavourable impact of chemical agents on the natural environment, consistent with maintaining high economic efficiency of agricultural production.

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The Western Balkan countries can be characterised by their shared goal, which is rapid accession to the EU. Agriculture is an important element to achieving this goal. The role of agriculture differs widely among the analysed countries but is more important than the average of the EU. This study gives a comprehensive overview of the most important agricultural indicators. These indicators give a precise picture of the sector’s relevance, production structure, efficiency and international relations. After demonstrating changes in input use, production structure, prices and agricultural policies, the next section identifies some of its reasons. The analysis concentrates on the newest available data. Serbia is the leading producer and the only net exporter of agricultural goods in the region. Nevertheless, the current situation is endangered by several issues, such as unbalanced sectoral production, fragmented production structure, relatively low yields, unfavourable export composition, poor food hygiene and quality control, which indicate that painful and hard actions are needed.

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One of the most pressing phenomena in recent decades in Europe’s rural areas is population decline. This article summarises how the national sustainable development strategies (NSDS) and the national rural development programmes (NRDP) of the European Union (EU) Member States conceptualise processes of depopulation of rural areas. It gives a systematic overview of the main factors of population decline identified in the strategies and programmes and lists the objectives set and measures proposed by these documents. Although the majority of documents identify the depopulation process and all consider it to be a negative phenomenon, there are no commonly accepted objectives or principles regarding the desired extent of demographic changes in rural areas: the aims vary between ‘reducing’, ‘stopping’, ‘stabilising’ and ‘reversing’ the depopulation of rural areas. Most of the measures proposed against the population declined in NRDPs are linked to Axis 3 of the EU rural development pillar. Regarding sustainability, an upcoming question is the ecological consequences of rural depopulation. The authors suggest that rural policies need a stronger theoretical basis to respond this question and that future national sustainable development strategies should pay more attention to the problem.

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Journal Metrics

Scimago Journal & Country Rank





  • Scopus SJR (2023): 0.29
  • Scopus CiteScore (2022): 2.0
  • WoS Journal Impact Factor (2022): 1.2
  • WoS Journal Citation Indicator (2022): 0.45
  • ISSN (electronic): 2063-0476
  • ISSN-L 1418-2106



Publisher Name: Institute of Agricultural Economics Nonprofit Kft. (AKI)

Publisher Headquarters: Zsil utca 3-5, 1093-Budapest, Hungary

Name of Responsible Person for Publishing:        Dr. Pal Goda

Name of Responsible Person for Editing:             Dr. Attila Jambor

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The publication cost of the journal is supported by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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