Examples of AKI participation in international consultancy and expert assistance projects
1. Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) Collaborative Working Group (CWG) on Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems
· Source of funding: Ministry of Rural Development (VM), Hungary
· Duration: May 2010-March 2012
SCAR set up a CWG of representatives of the members of the European Research Area (currently composed of 37 countries) to assess the state of the links between knowledge and agriculture innovation in Europe. AKI represented the VM on this CWG. A report was prepared entitled ‘Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems in Transition - A Reflection Paper’ (http://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/pdf/ki3211999enc_002.pdf) that recommended that the Common Agricultural Policy could play a role in exchange of knowhow in Europe by using it budgets to encourage innovation-driven research with the direct involvement of (groups of) farmers.
2. Bioenergy: methodological improvement of statistical data collection regarding biomass availability and use in the new Member States of the EU
· Source of funding: EC Joint Research Centre
· Duration: December 2006-February 2007
The aim of the project was to assess the Hungarian statistical data collection systems of biomass raw materials used for bioenergy production and to prepare a proposal for their further development. The use of biomass for energy has been in the focus of the attention in Hungary for only a short period of time; however the literature has recently been extremely enriched. In addition to the increasing number of books, papers, articles and opinions more and more measures have been enacted by the governmental organisations. Although in the fields of practical application the development was slow for the time being, in the coming years significant development is expected as major investments have been under preparation. Capacities will soon be largely exceeded. The key of the development is the increased use of agricultural biomass. The large-scale development of biomass use can hardly be implemented without numerical information on the definite volume of the raw material available. The prerequisite of the investments of large values was to ensure the volume of the input required. In order to ensure the economic operation of investments is necessary to coordinate at national level the capacities to be implemented on the basis of the use of the domestic raw material. Increased prices due to the increased demand and the higher cost prices due to the unused capacities would both endanger bionenergy production and should be avoided. The information provided by the statistical system was not only required to meet the EU data supply requirements, to ensure the comparability of the data at international level and to measure the extent of meeting the requirements and to monitor the implementation, but it was also required for the governmental coordination and for practical application.
3. An assessment of the impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on the agro-food sector of Central and Eastern European and Central Asian countries
· Source of funding: FAO Subregional Office, Budapest
· Duration: October 2009-December 2009
This project assessed the impacts of the global financial and economic crisis on the agro-food sector of Central and Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Research was conducted in Hungary Ukraine, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, and a final report was prepared that was based on four separate country reports. The results of the research were indicative of present trends and thus provided an adequate basis for drawing conclusions and recommending policy options for the FAO and public authorities to lessen the undesirable effects of the current or future financial and economic crises in the agro-food sector. As the data available to assess the impacts of the crisis on the sector in the region were limited, the research took the form of interviews of stakeholders from all tiers in selected supply chains, plus banks and the government sector, the results of which were analysed in the context of primary economic data. The supply chains were selected as having a significant share in the country’s production output, and/or of its trade. The fact that the choice of supply chains should facilitate the analysis of the impact of the crisis on poor farmers was also taken into account. Wheat was included as a commodity from all countries as it is a major crop which is widely traded internationally. The others were sunflower and grape/brandy (one country each), pigmeat and milk (two countries each).The research focused on the effects of the economic downturn, credit constraints, trade and trade credit impacts on production and consumption. Both clear similarities and differences in terms of impacts of the crisis on different sectors in different countries were demonstrated.
4. Analysis of the major factors affecting the funding and profitability of large scale pig farms in Hungary
· Source of funding: Embassy of the Netherlands, Hungary
· Duration: September 2012-January 2013
A report was prepared that was based on the results of practical research which investigated the major factors affecting the funding and profitability of (large and small scale) pig farms in Hungary. Data and information sources available at AKI were be used. Several large scale pig farms operating in Hungary, some of which were set up in recent years, were visited to obtain information on the business environment and upscale investments in pig farming, as well as on the administrative burdens and existing regulations.