STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS IN HUNGARIAN AGRICULTURE AFTER THE POLITICAL TURNOVER
2003, 4 (2) p. 175-184
The so-called socialist regime collapsed in Hungary in May 1990 with the first free elections. The new government immediately started to reorganize the country's agriculture, but unfortunately on a mainly ideological basis. The agriculture of Hungary had been a successful branch of the national economy in the 1970's and 1980's, because its structure, including the co-operation of large farms and smallholders, was very effectively adapted to the technological conditions and market opportunities of the time. The measures introduced in the early nineties by the new government destroyed this structure. The arable land was split up and became the property of many owners, and this way a lot of new farms of very small size emerged. International supermarket chains also appeared on the Hungarian market. They are a new factor of agri-business earlier unknown in Hungary, causing a lot of fears and several problems. Hungarian agriculture still lacks a stable structure, i.e. the sizes and owners of farms keep changing, the applied farming technology is not adapted to the new situation, the products possible to grow in a profitable way are not clearly identified, though it would be necessary in order to solve the problem of high unemployment experienced in rural areas. All these problems are analyzed in this paper and suggestions for the solution are made.