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Three Decades of Transformation in the East-Central European Agriculture

Authors: Jerzy Banski*, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS
Topics: Agricultural Geography, East Europe, Land Use
Keywords: agriculture, transformation, Central Europe, land use, ownership, food
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Twenty-nine years have now passed since the fall of the Eastern Bloc, and the adoption of a new socioeconomic and political system by successive Central European countries. The result of that has been transformation in all sectors of the economy, and also in the public and cultural life, of the countries in question. Dynamic change has also characterised the food sector, first and foremost in respect of privatisation, and the return of assets seized in the communist era, as well as raised efficiency of output on farms and modernisation in general, and the incorporation of domestic agriculture into the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and indeed the global competitive system. The aim of the work is to identify, compare and assess selected economic processes ongoing in the farming sector over the last 30 years throughout the region under consideration. This analysis may be further broken down in relation to the three phases of change, i.e. transformation (system changes), integration and polarisation. Each of these phases has entailed defined processes capable of shaping specific features of the food sector. The first phase – of transformation – entailed asset restructuring and the change of ownership. The second identified phase – of integration – involved the countries of the region acting in preparation for EU membership, and then actually acceding to the Union. The phase we are dealing with today is in turn one of polarisation characterised by ever-growing disparities in levels of economic development of different kinds of farm.

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