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CURRENT AFFORESTATION PRACTICE AND EXPECTED TRENDS ON FAMILY FARMS IN WEST HUNGARY

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Author(s): Zoltan ANDRASEVITS | Gyula BUZAS | Endre SCHIBERNA

Journal: Journal of Central European Agriculture
ISSN 1332-9049

Volume: 5;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 297;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: afforestation | farming and agriculture | west hungary | national development

ABSTRACT
The primary aim of the National Forest Strategy and National Development Plan in Hungary is to increase the ratio of forest cover from the current level of 19,7% to 26-28%. This means planting 700,000 ha of new forest plantation in Hungary between now and 2035. Around 90% of the afforestation1 will occur on private land. So the simultaneous improvement of farming and forestry is critical. Our survey sought to capture the current situation in western Hungary. Our aim was to research the possibilities for complimentary development of agriculture and forestry on family owned farms. Relatedly, we wanted to know about the motivations of farmers regarding afforestation. We established that forestry does not have a favorable effect on the labour effi ciency of agriculture and does not reduce the seasonality of agriculture. Most of the farmers consider afforestation could be a good investment or a potential source of better profi t. However, the level of support available is what mainly motivates willingness to plant tree crops. They believe that the government should compensate short-term profi t loss (due to land set aside for tree crops) with longer-term subsidies (according to established EU support practices)
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