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Articles - year 2017

A misfit in policy to protect Russia’s black soil region. An institutional analytical lens applied to the ban on burning of crop residues

Russia’s region of Chernozem and Kastanozem soils in Western-Siberia, where this study focused on the Kulunda steppe, has great potential as a carbon sink, particularly if the current widespread practice of burning crop residue can be replaced with conservation tillage practices that will return the residue to the soil. Environmentally-oriented land use policy measures have been introduced that could accomplish that goal. But these measures are quite recent, and face obstacles in the prevailing post-socialist institutional environment and in cultural norms. This paper explores factors influencing implementation effectiveness of policies that support prevention of soil erosion and nutrient loss. We refer to Williamson’s four levels of social analysis, and thereby add to it a dynamic component, illuminating the timeframe required for changing the criteria under investigation. A case study in the Kulunda steppe (Altai krai) with 24 semi-structured interviews revealed that critical factors affecting soil protection policy implementation exist at all levels of social interaction. We use one example of a Russian regulatory measure − the ban on crop residue burning − to explore and systematize critical socio-economic, administrative and institutional factors that diminish the impact of such a command-and-control regulation. Credible monitoring and sanctioning to implement the ban turned out to be almost impossible. Farmers’ beliefs about the positive effects of burning on the soil could not be changed by short-term administrative regulations, and there are no alternative off-field uses for the residue. This empirical study shows that information provision and subsidies for voluntary conservation tillage practices are likely to be more effective measures to counter soil degradation than the residue-burning ban.

Jelínek, L., Theesfeld, I.

Land Use Policy, Volume 67, September 2017, s. 517-526, ISSN 0264-8377



Agricultural Land Evaluation Considering the Czech Less Favoured Areas Delineation

This paper analyses the impact of the common European criteria on the Less Favoured Areas (LFA) delineation in the Czech Republic (CR) and compares it with currently used point evaluation system. Further, it compares the advantages and disadvantages of both delineation systems from various points of view and concerning the needs of common agricultural policies. In the Czech Republic, a system of point evaluation of the agricultural land productivity based on the Evaluated soil-ecological units (ESEU) is used for delineation of the other than mountain LFA since 2001. Within the programme period 2014–2020, the European Commission proposes to delineate the other than mountain LFA using a single set of criteria, common for all the member states. Some criteria of the natural handicap proposed by the European Commission (EC) can be derived directly from the ESEU five-cipher code and from the soil maps. The comparison clearly shows that the current Czech system of point evaluation of the productivity of agricultural land can express better the influence of worse soil and climatic conditions on the limitations of the agricultural use of the land than the system proposed by the EC. Additionally, the ESEU point evaluation can express also the effect of simultaneous influence of more factors, which may thus increase or decrease the final ESEU point values. Conversely, it is necessary to remark that the land quality evaluation based on ESEU is rather complicated and not easily understandable for the wide public. Also, it cannot be applied in all the EU countries.

Hlavsa, T., Kučera, J.

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, 2017, Volume 65, Nr. 4, s. 1195-1204, ISSN 1211-8516



Effects of the investment support in the Czech meat processing industry

The goal of the paper is to quantify and evaluate the effects of investment subsidies in the Czech meat processing industry. The investment subsidies should enhance the economic results of the supported companies and increase their competitiveness. The analysis is based on the fixed-effect modelling of balanced panel data of 130 meat processors in the period 2008–2013. It quantifies the impact of investment subsidies from the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and the national support programme (Decree of MoA) on profitability, labour productivity, credit debt ratio and the efficiency of production consumption. The conclusions can be generalized for medium-sized and large companies. The results show that investment subsidies from the RDP had not such a significant effect as expected. Investment subsidies from the RDP affected only the labour productivity of large meat processors and the ROA of non-family companies. However, they should preferably help small and medium-sized companies to be more competitive. Subsidies from the national programme increased the profitability of family-owned and medium-sized companies and changed the capital structure of the supported companies which used more bank loans for upgrading the technology.

Špička, J., Náglová, Z., Gürtler, M.

Agricultural Economics, 2017, Volume 63, Nr. 8, s. 356-369, ISSN 0139-570X



Farms Productivity Developments Based on Malmquist Production Indices

The aim of the article was to evaluate production ef ciency changes of agricultural enterprises specialized in livestock production and identify its determinants. The total factor productivity (TFP) was used to analyse the changes as determined by the DEA Malmquist index. Evaluated sample contained panel data of 440 farms (114 organic and 326 conventional) based on FADN survey in the period 2011 - 2015. The results showed very little difference in technical ef ciency between groups and relatively negligible changes over the time. About 69% of organic farms reached the productivity growth with the change in TFP of 3.17%. A total of 59% of conventional farms were managed with increasing productivity and the TFP change by 1.48%. Differences between groups were given mainly by Utilized agricultural area per farm, level of Total production, Livestock output, sum of Current subsidies per hectare, and by FNVA / AWU.

Kostlivý, V., Fuksová, Z., Dubec, J.

AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, 2017, Volume 9, Nr. 2, s. 91-100, ISSN 1804-1930



The impact of investment support from the Rural Development Programme of the Czech Republic for 2007-2013 on the economic efficiency of farms A comparison of the performance of farms within and outside Less Favoured Areas

European agriculture is highly mechanised and its development is to a large extent shaped by the constant need for investment. By combining private capital with public funds, the risk burden associated with investment can be shared. The general economic objective of investment support is to improve the efficiency of production factors, such as labour, land and capital. The Rural Development Programme of the Czech Republic for 2007-2013 included a preferential criterion, the objective of which was to give an advantage to farms in Less Favoured Areas (LFA) by facilitating their access to funding for investments. This paper evaluates the investment activities of agricultural holdings located in Czech LFAs in the period 2011-2015, compared to those that are not located in LFAs. Binary logistic regression was employed to identify factors, such as LFA type, farm size, share of other revenues, indebtedness of a farm and stocking density of cattle, that influenced whether a farm was or was not supported with an investment subsidy. We conclude that supported farms in LFAs have higher levels of economic performance and higher labour productivity than unsubsidised farms. It is evident that many farms, especially in mountain areas, are interested in investment activities and are trying to develop their businesses. They have a lower likelihood of business failure than those farms that do not invest.

Hlavsa, T., Hruška, M., Turková, E.

Studies in Agricultural Economics, 2017, Volume 119, Nr. 1, s. 11-17, ISSN 1418-2106


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