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Land and usage structures and their impacts on rural livelihood in Central Europe Katalin Kovács Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Land and usage structures and their impacts on rural livelihood in Central Europe Katalin Kovács Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Land and usage structures and their impacts on rural livelihood in Central Europe Katalin Kovács Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

2 Content Agricultural restructuring of the CEE-s: an overview Farm structures in three Central European countries  Countries: Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary  Dimensions: share of large-scale/small-scale, similarities, differences, reasoning (Small-scale) farming and livelyhood – the Hungarian case

3 Agricultural restructuring of the CEE-s Models of collectivised agricultre Stalinist (Romania, Albania) Neo-Stalinist (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, GDR) Hungarian A Swain typology from 2000 De-collectivisation models Rapid destructuring, then building up from grassroots  Dominant: small-scale  Secondary: medium-scale company Slow transformation  Strong large-scale sector  Multiple transformation rounds  Weak small-scale sector Rapid and relatively balanced transformation

4 Agricultural restructuring of the CEE-s Structuring principles  The overall economic conditions, the scale of state control over the events  The flexibility of late socialist collectivisation models, the presence of market-principles  Ownership relations  Food-chain and inter-farm connections  Preferences at policy-making level: privatisation + restitution policies and legislations  Power relations and preferences at grassroots level: convictions, beliefs and expectations of elit and ordinary population circles

5 Agricultural restructuring of the CEE-s Fragmented ownership Dual farm structure with low share of the middle: = the Western-like family farm model Large-scale farm- dominated systems: Czechia, Slovakia Household plot dominated systems: Albania, Romania Combined: Hungary, Bulgaria General outcome Farm systems S-m farms’ social role Not so important Important Very important

6 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary Duality in the Czech, Slovak and Hungarian agriculture: farm categories by the number and area of farms %, 2000 Farm size Categories CzechiaSlovak RepublicHungary numberareanumber area numberarea Below 10 ha over 100 ha Total

7 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary What statistics tell about:  The overwhelming prevalence of large-scale farms in the usage of agricultural land (the share of farms over 100 hectares) Slovakia (93%)  average large-scale farm size: 1200 ha in the Czech Republic (88%)  average large-scale farm size: 960 ha  Less so in Hungary (60%)  average large-scale farm size: 600 ha

8 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary The number of farms and their share in agricultural land-use by legal titles, 2000 CountriesLegal type of farmsNumber of farmsShare % Czech Republic State undertakings00 Co-operatives72828 Commertial companies2,05543 Individual farms35,21926 Other1681 Slovakia State undertakings10 Co-operatives69546 Commertial companies70729 Individual farms5,2927 Household plotsn.a.16 Hungary State undertakings00 Co-operatives1, Commertial companies9,479 Individual farms949,00549 Source: NIAE: The Future of Rural Areas in the CEE new Member States, pp 14-15

9 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary Further characteristics (data 2000) The role models of the collectivised agriculture, producer co-operatives have been loosing out to a large degree, except Slovakia (46%) An emerging wide variety of company and co-operative forms Czechia took the lead in terms of the importance of companies as land operators (43%) The individual forms of land-use is the strongest in Hungary (49%)

10 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary Ownership of agricultural land % Land owners Czech Republic SlovakiaHungary Natural persons Legal persons of which state cooperatives 10 2 companies 3 others (LG,s, NGOs, churches)1 1 Total99100

11 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary Land-use by title in Hungary (on the basis of registered arable land, 2002 august) Area total (Ha) Own property %37 Ordinary rented schemes %51 Rented on reciprocal basis %12 other %1

12 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary What case studies suggest about the characteristics of post-soc large-scale farms  They are not so big, not so overstaffed, but …  They are not so pluriactive,  many opted for the „either” / „or” approach (cropping / animal breeding);  The „many own, few use” principle is still prevalent as well as that of „the farms are run according to the managers’ and not the owners’ interests” (Fertő 1999)  Their interlinkages with small-scale farms diminished radically

13 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary The characteristics of the small-scale sector Czechia + Hungary: % commertial farms Czechia + Slovakia: relatively weak plot farming (14-16%) Slovakia: weak individual commertial farm sector Hungary: strong plot-farm sector (40-42%) % in the area „Farms”„Plots” Czechia1214 Szlovakia716 Hungary

14 Farm structures in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary Roots of differences Different starting models  Less developed small-scale sector in the former Czechoslovakia, restricted to household consumption and the local markets to a large extent – vs. integrated and specified small-scale farms  Ownership (landed property) Differences in  Land privatisation legislation (full restitution vs. „allotment + compensation + land auctions)  Privatisation of the assets  Policies („pro”-s and „conra”s)  Locally/culturally determined sentiments, beliefs towards company-forms

15 Small-scale farming and rural livelyhood The Hungarian case  A huge drop of permanent jobs (80% of agricultural jobs were lost)  A continuous and sound drop of plot farms 20% between ( ) 20% between ( )  The shrinking categories: Small-size plots, mostly the below 2 ESU size Semi-subsistence farms The loss of integration with large-scale farms Concentration, specification as a response for the challenges

16 Small-scale farming and rural livelyhood Sound regional differences emerged, reflecting the  profitability of farming  the proximity of on-farm and off-farm jobs  the rate of unemployment  the composition of the population age education „peasant traditions” Spatial seggregation has become a major issue

17 Small-scale farming and rural livelyhood The share of under age pensioners within the group of retired people; deviation from the country average (2003)

18 Small-scale farming and rural livelyhood The share of households without active employees. The deviation form the country average (2001)

19 Small-scale farming and rural livelyhood Social crisis areas 2001 with profound social segregation the target area of the urban poor with polarised pop. structure ageing, emptying

20 Small-scale farming and rural livelyhood The proportion of family labour engaging in individual farming in the % of the population over 15. Deviation from the country average 2000.

21 Small-scale farming and rural livelyhood Small-scale farming is strong  where people have no other choice than agriculture either as a first or a secondary source of income (in the latter case frequently as social transfer recipients)  Where „peasant” and entrepreneurial traditions are strong and natural endowment are favourable Small scale farming is weak  where there are other choices, on the spot or accessable off-farm jobs,  and/or elderly population is increasing here professionalised and commertial small-scale farms and hobby farms are increasingly dominate the sector  where spatial seggregation of the poor (Roma + non-roma) population takes large holds

22 Concluding remarks To provide remedy for the damages caused by globalisation, transformation, etc. in rural spaces long-term and realistic coping strategies should be developed jointly The shrinkage of agricultural job-opportunities will continue as much as investors’ favoring urban spaces, therefore accessibility of urban areas becomes a key issue + Internet access Primary education has a major importance in combating social segregation

23 Concluding remarks Linkages should be promoted  between small-scale production and the food chain  between the growing rural underclass and the society at large As rural poverty seems to reflect the patterns of spatial accumulation in peripheral rural districts in each country, a Europe-wide, joint integrated cohesion policy targeting rural peripheries should be developed or reinstalled as soon as possible


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