Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 68, No 4 (2003)

The Situation of the Sugar Beet Production in Hungary Before the EU Accession

Zsuzsanna SLEZÁK, Nikoletta FÁRÓ, György SZÉLES

Pages: 287-292


In Hungary, the sugar beet production suffers from many complex factors, which reflect on a crisis situation. Due to the narrowing markets and a decrease in the demands for sugar all together with the uncertainty and over-production of the processing industry, the sugar beet producers are very defenceless. The special technology of the sugar beet production gives an especial importance to this fact. There is not too much place fo changes for the farmers within the structure of the production costs, which has consequences in terms of both quality and volume. In the European Union, the sugar sector is highly regulated. The accession will lead us to a decades-old and solid state of the sugar production. For all member countries, unique and harmonised prices and export regulations exist. With the accession, the EU countries have the opportunity to target the markets of the newly joining countries, such as Hungary, with their surplus in sugar production. Therefore, it is in their interest to give as low quota as possible to the Hungarian sugar beet production.
One key point of the regulations of the sugar production is the quota and its introduction in the production. For this reason and for the functioning CMO.s of the sugar beet sector, it is important to create and maintain an accurate and up-to-date database and the relating institutional background. The statistical and information system should cover - besides the data of the domestic production and processing and the international trade- the monitoring of the foreign markets and the whole of the agribusiness. The effectiveness of the production should improve even if a number of the farmers have to give up beet production. It is in significant the government´s responsibility to ensure these farmers´ safety of existence. By the time of the accession, reaching an average yield of 45 to 55 tons per hectare, the Hungarian sugar beet production will be competitive with the EU farmers. The current technical and agronomical level of the whole sector does not satisfy the EU requirements, however a number of producers are falling into line with the EU level. Another task is to improve the effectiveness of the processing plants that could lead to the elimination of the factories with small capacity. In that case, additional attention should be paid on the sugar beet farmers and alternatives should be offered by the winding up concerns.


sugar beet; production; Hungary

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