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Contribution of organic agriculture to macro-economic and environmental performance of the countries with economies in transition

Znaor, Darko (2002) Contribution of organic agriculture to macro-economic and environmental performance of the countries with economies in transition. Vagos Research Papers, 53 (6), pp. 41-46.

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The current agricultural operations cause a number of environmental and socio-economic problems and raise substantial ethical doubts. The call for the shift of the present agricultural paradigm and practices is acknowledged all across Europe. Ten years after the economic transition, the agricultural sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) still undergoes essential transformation. In spite of the policy efforts to restore the pre 90 inputs, low-external input agriculture prevails in most CEE countries. The transition to a market economy caused a huge price disparity between the agricultural commodities and agricultural inputs. The high prices of agri-chemicals and low prices of agricultural produce forced farmers to reduce agricultural inputs or refrain from using them altogether. However, this shift was not the result of a designed agri-environmental policy but rather the consequence of a socio-political evolution from state economy to market economy. The low-external input agriculture as it is practised today in the CEE is not truly sustainable. It results in poor economic returns and often cause a whole spectrum of environmental/nature degradations (e.g. soil erosion, nutrients leaching, etc.). Organic agriculture is improved and more sustainable form of low-external-input agriculture. Currently some 380.000 hectares of the agricultural land in the CEE are being farmed according to the organic agriculture principles and standards. The existing calculations from the region show that a share of as little as 10-20% of organic farming in the total agricultural production already exhibits benefits for the national economy and reduces the environmental degradations induced by the agricultural production, notably the nitrogen losses. If the external costs of agricultural production were internalised, the organic farming exhibits even greater environmental and economic benefits.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Environmental and economic consequences of conversion to large-scale organic farming: internalisation of external costs; valuation of external costs; Central and Eastern Europe; countries with economies in transition
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
Research affiliation: Croatia
Deposited By: Znaor, Dr Darko
ID Code:26405
Deposited On:12 Aug 2014 05:59
Last Modified:12 Aug 2014 05:59
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Scientific Journal of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture

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