Development and Finance from issue 2009/1

Csaba Csáki

The Competitiveness of Hungarian Agriculture

- Abstract -

JEL Q-15

Hungarian agriculture can look back on two troubled decades. The reforms related to the change in political system, changes in ownership and the zigzags of agricultural policy made it even more difficult for Hungarian agriculture to adapt to the changing international environment, and to ready itself for the new set of requirements imposed by EU membership. Recent developments indicate yet another turning point in the history of international and Hungarian agriculture. Laying down the foundations for Hungarian agriculture in the future requires a well-thought out strategy based on a broad consensus. The documents of the National Rural Development Programme and those relating to the reform of the common agricultural policy touch upon the most important tasks and essentially point out the right directions for future development. There is, however, still no operating strategy to reduce the divisions of Hungarian agriculture, one that would be acceptable for the majority of players involved. The future of the CAP is another highly important issue. Most of the reform proposals tabled so far envisage changes that are adverse for Hungarian agriculture. The Hungarian players involved know relatively little about these proposals and their potential impacts in Hungary. Wider and deeper debates are necessary in Hungary to arrive at a position best suitable for Hungarian interests.

Csaba Csáki, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, professor of economics (Corvinus University of Budapest)

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